Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns of further sanctions against Russia

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Chelsea’s Torres set for AC Milan switch

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

Business

Syria signs offshore oil deal with Russian firm

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-12-26

Syria’s government said Wednesday it had signed an oil and gas deal with a Russian company, prompting claims from the Syrian opposition that Damascus is “swapping the country’s riches for Russian weapons”.

The agreement was signed by Syrian Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas and the Russian Soyuzneftegaz company, allows for the first-ever exploration off the war-ravaged country’s Mediterranean coast.

The exploration will cover an area of 2,190 square kilometres (850 square miles) off the Mediterranean port city of Tartous, where Russia also has a military base.

Damascus said the exploration would be financed by Russia to the tune of $100 million over the next 25 years.

Blighted industry

The deal is a boost for the Syrian government, which has lost control over roughly half of the country’s territory, including most of its oil fields.

Through war and sanctions, Syria's oil production has plummeted by 90 percent since the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.

“Soyuzneftegaz will start working soon after the contract is signed. The company will not follow the unfair economic sanctions imposed on oil fields especially, as well as on all economic sectors in Syria,” Syria’s Oil Minister Suleiman Abbas told reporters.

‘Oil for weapons’

The agreement between Moscow and Damascus was swiftly denounced by Syria’s main opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC).

In a statement published on Thursday, the CNS slammed a deal “which aims to swap the riches of our homeland for Russian weapons destined to kill the Syrian people”.

Despite the escalating violence in Syria, Moscow has continued to supply weapons to its Syrian ally and repeatedly thwarted attempts to take action against the Assad regime at the UN Security Council.
 

Date created : 2013-12-26

  • UNITED NATIONS

    US and Russia agree on Syria draft resolution

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    France, Russia admit ‘differences’ over Syria

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    UN inquiry links Syria's Assad to war crimes

    Read more

COMMENT(S)