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Russia looking into all options for supporting Syria, Russian deputy PM says

November 22, 2016, 11:50 UTC+3

Rogozin, who co-chairs the Russian-Syrian commission on trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation, and Bashar Assad discussed Russia’s economic assistance to Syria

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© Sergei Bobylev/TASS

DAMASCUS, November 22. /TASS/Russia is considering any possibility of supporting Syria, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Tuesday after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.

Rogozin, who co-chairs the Russian-Syrian commission on trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation, and Assad discussed Russia’s economic assistance to Syria at talks, which lasted for an hour and a half.

"The Syrian side has many requests on how to support life of the state and the citizens who were deprived of traditional means of earning money," Rogozin said in an interview with TASS and Channel One.

"Syria used to be a country that sold oil, grain and was a successful state. Now it has neither oil nor gain nor many other products to meet the demands of the population," he said. "Therefore, our commission on trade and economic relations is a tool of support and we consider any possibility in Syria to back them," Rogozin stressed.

Russian delegation’s visit to Syria

The Russian deputy PM leads a representative delegation consisting of heads of major Russian private industrial companies. Rogozin refused to name these companies, saying that they could be included in the new sanctions list. "I don’t want to risk people naming them."

The major projects in the energy and transport areas were presented to Assad. "He personally guaranteed that Syria will create a most favored treatment for each Russian company," Rogozin said.

Russia and Syria signed a deal on creating customs green-light passage for agricultural products. The sides also agreed on the supplies of Syrian agricultural goods to Russia’s market. "The Syrians try hard to supply high-quality products to the Russian counters. Why can’t we take these products that give job to thousands, tens of thousands of Syrians? We are doing this, we have agreed on this."

The sides are discussing the key issue now on how to ensure Russia’s participation in "major projects on restoring Syria’s economy, this is participation in restoring energy, ports and other major infrastructure projects," he said.

"Today we agreed on all these projects in detail. And we will do everything what will be possible in these very difficult conditions," Rogozin stressed. "Russia is under sanctions, but the Syrian people and the Syrian state are under more sanctions and in tougher isolation."

"The war is underway, and it’s no secret that this is a difficult war," Rogozin said, explaining that Syria is fighting both against its enemy from within, namely the fundamentalists, and foreign mercenaries, including citizens from the former Soviet states and Russia. This was the reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin made a decision on launching the campaign of Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria, he recalled. "We are fighting against those who would kill our citizens if they returned to Russia."

"One thing is clear: what Russia is doing today is unprecedented both in terms of military participation in the fight against international terrorism and political and economic settlement," he said.

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