Syrian Authorities Do Not Raise Issue of Russian Navy’s Maintenance Base in Tartus
Despite the situation in Syria, authorities of this country have not raised the issue of Russian Navy’s maintenance base in Tartus, reports RBK on Aug 2 referring to Sergei Vershinin, director of Middle East and North Africa Department (Russian Foreign Ministry).
Russian Navy maintenance base in Tartus should not be regarded as the reason for Russia’s compelling stand towards Syria, since Tartus is just an element of bilateral military cooperation, Vershinin said.
Earlier on July 31, Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Vysotsky pointed out that maintenance center in Tartus would be kept in a condition required to complete all assigned tasks.
Presently, Tartus is the only Russian naval base far abroad; it consists of two monobuoys, floating workshop, storages, barracks, and various logistic assets.
Recall that protest demonstrations are going on in Syria since March 2011; protesters demand radical reforms and ouster of president Bashar al-Assad. According to Syrian human rights advocates, 1 350 persons have been killed during that time and almost 3 000 have been lost. The UN Security Council has not made a decision as of retaliatory actions on Syrian government. Russia participates in diplomatic negotiations not only with Assad’s officials but with oppositionists in order to settle the conflict.
An agreement allowing to station Soviet Navy’s assets in Tartus was tied with Syrian government far back in 1971. The base was established to repair and supply ships of 5th Operational (Mediterranean) Squadron. In 1991 the squadron was disbanded; since that time Russian Navy carries out non-regular cruises to the Mediterranean Sea.
Source: rusnavy, August 4, 2011;