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Russia’s deputy prime minister discusses industrial, energy cooperation with Assad

The postwar restoration, social reconstruction and cooperation may cost up to $400 billion, according to some estimates

DAMASCUS, December 13. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov has discussed industrial, medical, and energy cooperation as well as interaction in other fields with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus on Thursday.

"The range of questions discussed with the Syrian leader included political affairs, Russia’s participation in Syria’s postwar reconstruction and restoration of life to normal, and cooperation in industry, medicine, energy and other branches of the economy," Borisov’s office said.

According to some estimates mentioned by the Syrian president this will require $250 billion to $400 billion.

Borisov believes it is essential to maximize the effectiveness of planning and the use of the existing capacities and to create financial and economic mechanisms capable of successfully functioning in the context of Western sanctions.

"We’ve got to act fast, because any delays in economic recovery will be fraught with serious problems, including an upsurge in the activity of defeated terrorists. Extremists would find it far easier to recruit supporters from the class of impoverished people unable to support their families," Borisov said.

He leads a Russian delegation that has arrived in Damascus for a meeting of the permanent Russian-Syrian commission for trading, economic, scientific and technical cooperation. The commission incorporates Russia’s ambassador to Syria Alexander Yefimov, special presidential representative for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Georgy Kalamanov, Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin and Deputy Health Minister Sergei Krayevoi.