Regime media has recently promoted what it describes as a Russian "lifeline" to be given to Syria in the form of billions of dollars in credit and trade deals.
Al-Baath newspaper quoted leaked news from an official source saying two new major contracts would be signed with Russia soon. The source estimated the value of these contracts in the billions of dollars, directed to financing the export of commodities and oil derivatives, in long-term repayment loans.
The source revealed that the regime has prepared a comprehensive study to outline the role of certain businessmen and the public sector in the export process. The loans will be provided by a Russian bank, and most of them will be in the form of low-interest loans and non-profit consumer loans. In turn, the regime is to export quality goods, like olive oil, to Russia.
The agreements may strengthen the regime's economic capacity, allowing it to continue its military policy against Syrian cities and people, but in turn, the agreements will also increase Russian domination over the country.
Russian domination over Syrian economic policy has increased in recent months. Russians, in turn, provide political cover to Assad in order to keep him in power. One of the recent deals between the two countries saw Damascus give Moscow a monopoly over gas and oil prospecting in many regions in Syria.
Even if the Assad regime falls, Russia has guaranteed, through these contracts, its hold over Syria, as these agreements can tie up any future government with heavy loans and interest repayments. This, in turn will oblige any future government to appease Russia and accept its intervention in Syrian issues, depute being the opposition's sworn enemies and a main partner in the destruction of the country.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer