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Moscow cements deal with Damascus to keep 49-year presence at Syrian naval and air bases

January 20, 16:51 UTC+3

Russia will use naval base in Tartus and Syria’s Hmeymim base on disinterested terms

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Hmeymim airbase in Syria

Hmeymim airbase in Syria

© AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

MOSCOW, January 20. /TASS/. Russia and Syria have signed an agreement on expanding the territory of the Russian Navy’s logistics facility in Tartus for 49 years. The document was published on the official legal information portal.

"The current agreement will stay effective for 49 years and be automatically prolonged for 25-year periods, if neither party makes a twelve months’ notice in writing through diplomatic channels of its intention to terminate the agreement’s operation," the document runs.

"Russia will use the facilities subject to joint use on the disinterested basis," the agreement says.

"The logistic facility shall enjoy full immunity from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of Syria. Its movable and immovable property enjoys immunity from search, requisition, arrest or executory measures," the document states.

The facility’s personnel, including its commander, personnel and crews and their members will enjoy immunity and privileges. They are guaranteed the inviolability of the person.

"They shall not be subject to arrest or detention in whatever form by the Syrian authorities. The personnel of the facility, the families of personnel and of crewmembers are guaranteed the inviolability of the home, documents, property and correspondence," the agreement states.

The archive of the logistics base, all official correspondence and all documents enjoy immunity regardless of their location.

Up to 11 Russian vessels including nuclear ships will simultaneously stop at the naval facility in Syria’s Tartus. "The maximum number of Russian warships allowed to stay simultaneously at the maintenance base is 11, including nuclear-powered combat ships, provided that nuclear and environmental safety is complied with," the document says.

"The Russian side has the right to bring to the logistics facility through the territory of Syria and evacuate from the logistic facility across Syria any weapons, ammunition, equipment and materials crucial to maintaining the security of the personnel and their families, crewmembers and Russian contractors and to performing missions by Russian ships without any duties levied by the Syrian side."

Hmeymim aerodrome

Russia and Syria have signed an agreement for 49 years on the presence of Russia’s aerospace group at Syria’s Hmeymim base. The document was published on the legal information portal on Friday.

Under the arrangement Syria will let Russia use part of the Hmeymim airdrome and ground facilities on disinterested terms.

"Perimeter protection of places of deployment of the Russian aerospace group is ensured by the Syrian side. The Russian side ensures air defense of places of deployment of the Russian aerospace group, interior guard and law and order at places of deployment of the Russian aerospace group," the document says.

According to the protocol, the Syrian side will be responsible for outer protection of the coastal borders of places of deployment of the logistics center.

The Tartus base will be maintained through Russia’s forces and resources, the document says.

"The Russian side has the right to send to the Syrian Arab Republic and maintain at its expense the required personnel of the maintenance center," the document says.

The Russia-Syria agreement on the presence of Russia’s aerospace group at Syria’s Hmeymim base will operate for 49 years and will be prolonged for subsequent 25-year periods, if neither party makes a twelve months’ notice in writing through diplomatic channels of its intention to terminate its operation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an instruction to sign a protocol to the agreement on deployment of a Russian aerospace group in Syria in December 2016. The protocol regulates issues of deployment of the Russian aviation group and its property, as well as logistics issues.

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