tartus
© Sputnik / Dmitriy Vinogradov
FILE PHOTO: Russian and Syrian marines hold joint drills in Tartus, Syria.
Moscow and Damascus are set to sign a deal on renting the sea port of Tartus to Russia for trade purposes, deputy prime minister Yury Borisov announced after talks with Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"The key issue that should trigger a positive dynamic is the use of the port of Tartus," Borisov told reporters in Damascus. The agreement to rent the Mediterranean port to Russia was provisionally reached last year and the current visit "has cemented all these arrangements."

Russian businesses gaining access to Tartus will not just boost trade between the two countries but will primarily enable Syria's economy to recover, Borisov emphasized. The sides will put their signatures under the deal within the next seven days, the deputy PM promised.

Russia already has a navy supply facility in Tartus, which was set up at Syria's second largest port, in accordance with the 2017 deal.