The head of the Syrian Russian Business Council, Samir Hassan, said that dozens of Russian companies had come to Syria to learn about investment opportunities, adding that he expected an increase in Russian economic activity in Syria in the second half of 2018.
The pro-government Al-Watan newspaper quoted Hassan as saying that “the second half of 2018 will see an improvement in momentum of Russian-Syrian economic relations and we will start to see notable results.”
He added that “the Syrian Russian Business Council received about 80 Russian companies which came to Syria, when it was unable to bring 10 in the year 2015 due to the conditions of the crisis.”
Hassan said that there were “a number of studies to establish Russian touristic projects in the coastal area and industrial projects to be established in different areas of Syria, as well as a major agricultural project in the coastal region and another in the central region. These projects need time to become a reality on the ground as we wait for the results of economic studies and other factors.”
The regime’s dealings with Russia to implement economic projects in Syria has angered Iran, which sees itself as distant from the economic gains of “reconstruction” projects in a country whose infrastructure has been severely damaged since the regime started military operations in 2011.
The Iranian Qanoon newspaper attacked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, describing him as “without principles” and thankless because of his agreements with the Russians over handing the reconstruction of Syria to Russia rather than Iran.
The newspaper said in an article published under the headline “No share for Iran in the Syrian bazaar,” that “Assad wants to trim Iran’s nails in Syria after the defeat of the Islamic State group [ISIS] and the entry into a new stage.”
The newspaper said that it was Iran’s right to take its share in Syria, even if by force, saying: “The right is to be taken. Despite the attempt by some in Iran to hide the facts around the loss of our share in Syria, our people will know and will be aware of what is happening to us in Syria.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.