Russia to begin air transit between Crimea and Syria

Russian Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov, who is currently in Syria, announced that the possibility of air traffic between Syria and Crimea is being considered.

“We are actively working on the matter of creating a joint Syrian-Crimean trade house, and in addition there is the matter of opening air traffic between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Republic of Crimea. We are prepared to offer the capabilities of all our enterprises to business owners from Syria, so that they can fully appreciate our advantages,” Aksyonov noted.

He added that Crimea and Syria are currently under “the strictest sanction regime”, but he believes that “the difficult situation could open up a new window of possibilities”.

Earlier on October 15, Aksyonov said that he intends to invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit the annexed Crimean peninsula during the fifth Yalta Economic Forum, which will be held in April 2019.

Aksyonov also spoke about his negotiations with the Syrian Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade concerning trade cooperation, although he said that he could not disclose any details due to sanctions.

A delegation of members of the Russian government of Crimea arrived in Syria on October 15. They plan to sign an agreement on trade, economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation between Crimea and the Syrian province of Latakia.

The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the visit.

The Russia-controlled company Crimean Sea Ports announced that it plans to start shipping coal, wheat and construction materials to Syria by the end of the year.

International organizations have condemned Russia’s annexation of Crimea as illegal. Western countries have imposed a range of sanctions on Russia in response. Russia denies that it is occupying the peninsula, instead calling it a “restoration of historic justice”. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has officially declared February 20, 2014, as the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

  crimea, Syria, Assad, Aksyonov