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Putin orders expansion of Russia's naval base in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Friday approving the expansion of the Russian naval base in the Syrian port city of Tartus, Russian news agency Sputnik reported yesterday.

The news about the new decree was further announced on the Kremlin's website.

According to Sputnik, the statement on the Kremlin's website reads: "Vladimir Putin signed a decree on signing the agreement between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on expanding the territory of the Russian logistics centre in the port of Tartus and on the arriving of Russian ships at the territorial sea, national waters and ports of the Syrian Arab Republic."

The Russian Defence Ministry announced plans in October to establish a permanent naval base in the western Syrian port city of Tartus where it has been keeping a small naval maintenance and support facility since 1977, Sputnik said.

Russia has been steadily expanding its power and influence over the past several years.

In early 2014, Russia unilaterally intervened in the Ukrainian crisis and eventually annexed the Crimea, causing upset in Europe and NATO with a seemingly resurgent Moscow that was largely dormant after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 2015, Moscow militarily intervened in Syria after having run diplomatic interference for the Assad regime at the UN Security Council since 2011. Russian help was instrumental in the fall of Aleppo earlier this month.

Russia's increasingly bellicose stance, however, has not come without costs as the Kremlin continues to wrestle with the economic turmoil brought about by Putin's desire to reassert Russia as a major power on the world stage.

Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyria
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