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Putin Seeking 'Economic Share' from Syria’s War - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Moscow – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin discussed on Tuesday economic and commercial cooperation in Damascus within the framework of the Russian-Syrian commission on trade and economic, scientific and technical cooperation.

Rogozin, who co-chairs the Russian-Syrian commission, met with head of Syrian regime Bashar al-Assad, with whom he discussed his country’s economic assistance to Syria.

Political analysts noted that the delegation’s visit was an attempt by Russian President Vladimir Putin to forge economic deals with Assad in the wake of the ongoing war.

Analysts added that Damascus would give priority to Russian companies in reconstruction projects – a privilege that Russia did not enjoy during times of peace.

The Russian deputy premier said that an agreement on creating a “green customs corridor” for agricultural products has been signed between Moscow and Damascus.

“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 and 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 added.

The Russian deputy premier is leading 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.

Political analysts said that Russia was attempting to have an “unlimited” role in the Middle Eastern country’s economy, similar to its current military role in the ongoing war.

Rogozin stressed in this regard that major projects in the fields of energy and communication were discussed with Assad.

“Today we agreed on all these projects in details, and we will do everything what will be possible in these very difficult conditions,” Rogozin said.

On a different note, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at U.N. Special Envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura, accusing him of “sabotaging” peace between the Syrian government and the opposition factions.

During a televised interview, Lavrov said De Mistura was attempting to intervene in U.N. Security Council Resolution 2254.

“The United Nations in the form of its special representative, Staffan de Mistura, has been sabotaging the resolution for more than six months,” Lavrov said.

“It seems there is no other way except for the patriotic opposition and the government to take the initiative into their own hands and organize Syrian dialogue. There seems to be no alternative”, he added.