The Russian Federation’s naval facility in the Syrian port city of Tartus will be expanded, as was stipulated in an agreement between Russia and Syria, which was signed in Damascus on January 18 and published on the Russian government's website of legal information on Friday, January 20. The agreement is valid for 49 years and will be automatically extended for successive 25-year periods unless one of the parties informs the other party about its intention to terminate it no less than one year before the expiration of a period.
The base in Tartus is being transferred to Russia at no cost to the Russians and will take advantage of complete immunity from the civil and administrative jurisdiction of Syria. Damascus has no right to requisition, search, or put a lien on the property. This immunity extends also to the facility’s personnel, its staff cannot be subject to arrest or detention in any form.
Russia may simultaneously deploy up to 11 warships in the naval facility, including those with nuclear propulsion, "provided that nuclear and environmental security is observed," the document says. It stipulates that Russia will guard the naval facility in Tartus from the sea and air, and Syria will provide land-based security.
The Russian-Syrian agreement must be ratified by the Russian State Duma and the Federation Council. Until then, it can be applied provisionally, starting from the signing date. The Russian naval facility in Tartus is the only Russian naval base abroad. Moscow had previously reached an agreement with Damascus on the perpetual stationing of Russian military aircraft at the Khmeimim airbase at no charge.