Russia advances Syrian naval base plans

Russian president Vladimir Putin has submitted a draft bill to the lower house of the Russian Federal Assembly which would see Russia develop a fully functional naval base at the Syrian port of Tartus.

The port is already in use by Russian warships which have been making port calls there since 1977.

Under the new agreement with Syria, which the Russian legislators plan to ratify by the end of 2017, the estate would be upgraded from a refueling facility to a permanent naval base capable of hosting larger ships, including Russia’s sole aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov.

The agreement will provide Russian Navy ships access to Tartus, and other Syrian ports, for an additional 49 years.

After new piers are built and waterways dredged, the base is expected to be capable of simultaneously accommodating over ten vessels.