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Russia begins modernization of naval facility in Syria

Russia has launched a modernization project of it’s naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus.

Russian Navy

According to the head of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Viktor Ozerov, the plans were presented during a visit of Russian senators to the base in October 2016.

The work is expected to include extra piers and structures to facilitate naval logistics vessels and warships.

Naval Base in Syria
Russian Naval Base in Syria

In January this year, Russia and Syria signed an agreement to expand the territory of the Russian naval facility in Tartous. The signed document refers to an agreement of 49 years.

The agreement also makes provisions for free use of the territory – officially Russian – with conditions of immunity from the jurisdiction of the Syrian state.

The agreement, according to Viktor Ozerov, is subject to ratification by the Russian parliament in Spring, as it will be “a higher level of consolidation of existing agreements.” 

As the destination of much of Russia’s manpower in Syria — the Russian naval supply route from the Black Sea Fleet headquarters in Sevastopol — Tartus has long served as a kind of beachhead for Russian arms and equipment deliveries to Syria.

Tartus has been an entry point for Russian arms deliveries to Syria since 1971, when it was leased to Moscow, but the base was doubly significant for serving as a home away from home for the Soviet Mediterranean flotilla.

Russia has been looking to rebuild its presence at Tartus since at least 2010, when the former head of the navy Vladimir Vysotsky unveiled plans to equip the facility to handle ships as big as Russia’s aircraft carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov.

Breaking news from global agencies and outlets by GEOPOLMonitor's team of writers.

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