Detained Syrian Oil Ship Reveals Russian Dispute with Assad

A Syrian ship carrying oil has been stopped by Russia, in what is suspected to be an effort to pressure the Assad regime into accepting certain Russian demands reports Baladi News.

On Monday, sources from the Syrian opposition said that Russia had detained an oil ship belonging to a Syrian businessperson. The ship was heading to Damascus, in what was seen as a measure to alleviate the fuel crisis that has been afflicting the country.

The sources mentioned three different reasons for why the ship was detained. The first is related to financial matters and fines, which led the Russian authorities to detain it. The second is linked to pressure on the Assad regime to sign economic agreements with Russia. The third is to pressure the regime to make progress on the political process and the constitutional committee front.

According to sources, this matter dates back to Oct. 6, 2020. At that time, SANA reported that a Syrian government delegation was visiting Russia to discuss surgical details regarding financing projects that would ensure mitigation of the economic crisis in Syria.

In September, Assad said he wanted to increase Russian investments to help his country withstand the new US sanctions imposed on Syria’s already-ailing economy. The sanctions, according to Assad, threaten to undermine military gains achieved with Moscow’s help.

However, it seems that the visit of the regime delegation to Moscow failed to garner any support to halt the country’s economic collapse, as indicators show.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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