MOSCOW, May 28 (RIA Novosti) – Russia has pledged Syria financial aid worth 240 million euro (around 327 million dollars) this year to help run social programs, Russia’s Kommersant newspaper cited a high-ranking official in Moscow.
“Syrian authorities are to receive 240 million euros worth of help this year, it is a confirmed figure,” the source said. He added, the decision to throw Damascus a lifeline came on Syria’s request.
According to the Kommersant, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order in late April for the state-run Development Bank to transfer an installment of over 46 million euros (over 62.7 million dollars) to the Syrian government’s account.
“De facto, it is a debt-for-financial-aid transaction, which won’t require budget allocations since we are talking about Syria’s debt payments to Russia that we couldn’t receive due to the Syrian war. Now these funds, which are still in the Syrian budget, will be spent on Syrian social projects,” the paper quoted its source as saying.
The civil war in Syria broke out in 2011, following the unrest that swept the Arab world three years ago, known as the Arab Spring. The war has since claimed up to 130,000 lives and laid waste to Syria’s social sector.