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Modernization of Russian Naval Support Base in Tartus May Take 5-7 Years

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A full modernization of the Russian Navy maintenance and support facility in Syrian Tartus may take five to seven years, Chairman of the State Duma's Defense Committee Vladimir Shamanov said Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Tartus hosted the Russian Navy maintenance and support facility since 1977. Currently, the Tartus facility is the Russian Navy’s only support base in the Mediterranean Sea.

"Planned [modernization] measures have already begun. It [facility] will be gradually expanded, and the nearest perspective is from five to seven years. The exact terms will depend on many issues and, first of all, on the allocation of financial resources," Shamanov told reporters.

The agreement between Russia and Syria on the expansion and upgrades of the Russian naval maintenance facility in the Syrian port of Tartus was signed on January 18, 2017. The agreement is supposed to be in effect for 49 years and to extend automatically for 25-year periods after that.

The deal stipulates that 11 Russian vessels can be present in the harbor of Tartus at once, including the ships equipped with with nuclear marine propulsion, provided that nuclear and environmental safety guidelines are respected.