Russian Deputy Minister of Defence Timur Ivanov said the Russian ministries of defence, industry and trade are working on a project to build a shipyard in the Syrian port of Tartus.
“We have a joint project to build a shipyard in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Trade in Tartus, for the maintenance of vessels of different categories,” Ivanov said in an interview with Russian Kommersant newspaper.
The agreement to expand and modernise Russia’s naval facility in the Syrian port gives full immunity to Russian military personnel and their families, allowing Russia to deploy up to 11 warships at one time. Tartus is Russia’s only base in the Mediterranean Sea.
Russia has supported the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad providing ground and air forces to regain control of areas his forces had lost.
Since its direct military involvement in the Syrian civil war in 2015, Russia has changed the realities on the ground and help Al-Assad recapture most of the country.
In return, Al-Assad allowed Russia to set up its first military post in the region.