A delegation from the Crimean government will visit Syria between October 15-16 to meet with Syrian officials in Damascus, Crimean Deputy Prime Minister Georgy Muradov told the Russian news outlet TASS.
The delegation will include Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, State Council Chairman Vladimir Konstantinov, Deputy Prime Minister Muradov, Federation Council member Olga Kovitidi, Minister of Industrial Policy Andrey Vasyuta, Minister of Resorts and Tourism Vadim Volchenko, and Minister of Culture Arina Novoselskaya.
According to Muradov, the Crimean delegation intends to hold negotiations with the Syrian government, including the governor of Latakia and Syria’s Minister of Economy. “With the governor of Latakia we will sign a partnership and collaboration agreement, and with the ministries and departments of the Syrian Arab Republic we will discuss all the important matters, particularly the matter of creating a joint shipping company, a Crimean-Syrian trade house, which will operate in Syria and in Crimea. We will also discuss settlement payments in national currencies,” Muradov notes.
As part of the trip to Syria, the delegation will hold a session of the Yalta International Economic Forum titled “Crimea: a growth point in Russian-Syrian relations”.
In April this year, a large Syrian delegation visited Crimea and took part in the Yalta Economic Forum. Syria and Crimea signed memorandums on the development of business projects to the value of more than 60 billion rubles, and on collaboration between Crimea and Syria’s Latakia province. Yalta and Latakia also became “sister cities”.
Rustam Muratov, director of the Crimea Congress foundation and one of the event’s organizers, told TASS that the Crimean delegation’s visit to Syria “is an important development, intended to strengthen Russian-Syrian relations and establish partnership between Crimean and Syrian business owners in the most different sectors of the economy, from food and agriculture to construction and energy”.
The internationally recognized Ukrainian territory of Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March of 2014 in the wake of the Ukrainian revolution. The Kremlin has faced international condemnation for its annexation of the Peninsula, leading many western countries to impose economic sanctions against Russia. In the United Nations, only Afghanistan, North Korea, Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Syria recognize Crimea as a legitimate federal subject of Russia.