Damascus, 16 February 2022 (TDI): President of Syria, Bashar Al Assad met with Russian Defense Minister Sergey ShoiguShoigu is visiting Syria along with a high-ranking military delegation.

Also, Minister Shoigu briefed Al Assad on the progress of naval exercises conducted by the Russian military fleet. The aforementioned exercises took place in the port of Tartus. In the meeting, they discussed the existing cooperation between the Russian and Syrian armies.

In addition, the meeting focused on the issue of combating terrorism. Minister Shoigu reiterated that his country will continue to cooperate with Syria in this field until its sovereignty is restored over its entire territory. Nonetheless, he declared that Russia will continue to help the Syrian people overcome the effects of the sanctions imposed on it.

Russia-Syria Ties

Russia and Syria enjoy close bilateral relations with both maintaining embassies in respective capital cities. Russia has a historically stable, strong, and friendly relationship with Syria.

Moreover, Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base is located in the Syrian port of Tartus. The base is used by its Black Sea Fleet. Diplomatic relations between Syria and the Soviet Union were established in July 1944 followed by an agreement in February 1946.

The agreement ensured Soviet support for Syria’s independence before the evacuation of French troops in April 1946. Furthermore, both countries were on the Allied side during World War II.

In 1971, the Soviet Union was allowed to open its naval military base in Tartus, under an agreement with President Hafez al-Assad. In addition, the two allies signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation on 8 October 1980.

The treaty has remained in force to this day. The Syrian government recognized the Russian Federation as the legal successor to the Soviet Union in January 1992.

What’smore, Russia in 2011 and 2012 used its veto power in the UNSC against possible sanctions or military intervention against the Syrian government.