Russia Announces $500m Investment in Syrian Port City

Additional $200 million aimed at modernizing chemical fertilizer production

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Russian forces patrol near the city of Qamishli, north Syria, October 24, 2019.
Russian forces patrol near the city of Qamishli, north Syria, October 24, 2019. Credit: AP Photo/Baderkhan Ahmad

Russia is allocating 700 million dollars for efforts to improve war-torn Syria's economy, a senior Russian official said Tuesday.

Russia is investing 500 million dollars over the next four years to upgrade the Syrian port of Tartus, where Russia has a naval facility, according to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.

Russia plans to build a "new trade port" at the western Syrian city on the Mediterranean, Borisov said in comments carried by state media.

Russia is also investing 200 million dollars to modernize a Syrian facility for producing chemical fertilizers, Borisov said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov speaks during a meeting in Caracas, Venezuela October 5, 2019. Credit: REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

Russia is the disputed Syrian government's main military backer in the Middle Eastern country's civil war, opposing efforts by rival power the United States to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Borisov and al-Assad met Tuesday in the Syrian capital, Damascus, for talks on restoring Syria's devastated economy, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

"I believe we have achieved good results over the past year. ... Things are going smoothly in Tartus," Borisov said.

Over the next half-year, Russia will deliver 100,000 tons of grain to Syria as humanitarian aid, he said.

Russia is also contributing 17 million dollars to United Nations-led recovery efforts in Syria, TASS reported.