Russian oil and gas companies have started work on restoring and developing Syria’s energy infrastructure, according to Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak.
“A number of projects there are already underway, and there are negotiations with the Syrian government about new projects,” Novak told journalists.
In February, Russia and Syria signed a roadmap for cooperation in the energy and power sectors for 2018 and beyond, which provides for the restoration, renovation and construction of energy facilities in Syria.
Lukoil and Gazprom Neft are among the companies invited by Damascus to restore infrastructure destroyed during the war. Syria has also asked Russia to participate in exploring and developing oil and gas on land and offshore. In particular, Russia was invited to upgrade the Baniyas refinery and to construct a new refinery with Iran and Venezuela. The countries have also agreed to launch a direct shipping line to facilitate trade.
Syrian Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad promised preferential trade to Russian business, saying that the countries which helped Syria to fight terrorism “have the right to be at the forefront” of those restoring the country’s economy.