02:27 GMT +316 June 2019
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    Port of Tartus, Syria

    Syrian Parliament Approves Deal With Russia on Tartus Port Expansion

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    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) - Syria’s parliament passed a bill on Wednesday that will allow Russian state companies to expand the Mediterranean port of Tartus.

    Damascus agreed to lease the port to Russia at the session of the bilateral intergovernmental commission in December of 2018. Syrian Transport Minister Ali Hammoud said in April that Damascus had struck a deal with Russian company Stroytransgaz (STG) for the management, expansion and operation of the port.

    "As part of the contract, STG Engineering has been exempted from taxes on imports of instruments, materials and technology required for the project … as well as from all customs and tariffs … until the end of the expansion project but no longer than six years," the press statement read.

    Russia and Syria will each appoint three members to a board of directors who will oversee the project. All Syrian port workers will keep their jobs, while the share of foreigners will not exceed 15 percent.

    Syrian lawmakers said the contract would make Tartus more competitive and help the country recover from eight years of war. Hammoud said he expected the port’s revenue to triple after it gets a $50 million cash injection.

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