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10:49 AM, December 13, 2017
Russia to Expand Naval Base in Syria’s Tartus
Tartus Naval Base in Syria

Russia has reached an agreement with Damascus to expand the former’s naval base in Syria’s Tartus.

According to the agreement, Russia will use the joint facilities free of charge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has submitted to the State Duma (lower house of parliament) an agreement with Syria on expanding the Russian Navy’s base in Syria’s Tartus.

"The duration of the agreement is 49 years, it can be automatically prolonged for a period of 25 years in case none of the parties send a written notification to the other at least one year before a period expires concerning its intention to terminate the agreement," TASS said quoting from the document submitted to the DUMA.

"The naval base has full immunity from Syria’s civil and administrative jurisdiction. Its movable and immovable property is immune from search, seizure and other proceedings," the document adds.

Besides, the agreement stipulates that Russia can use its troops to guard and maintain the facility. "Russia has the right to send the necessary number of troops to maintain the naval facility," the document says.

Putin visited the Hmeymim air base in Syria Monday and ordered the Russian Defense Ministry to begin the withdrawal of a significant part of the Russian troops and equipment from Syria.

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