Russian senators have ratified an agreement that allows permanent deployment of the country's air force in Syria, solidifying Moscow’s projection of power in the Middle East.
One hundred and fifty-eight Russian senators thrust their support behind the permanent air force at the Syrian base in Khmeimim during the Wednesday vote, with one senator abstaining.
“Russia’s Air Force group will be located in Syria only for defense purposes and does not target third countries,” Viktor Ozerov, chair of the Defense Committee in the Federation Council, told RIA Novosti after the vote.
Ozerov added the decision marks Russia’s “substantial input” into the international effort to stabilize the situation in Syria.
“I believe we should consider [the treaty] in a context of global issues and talk about a new quality of Russia’s positioning, not only in Syria and the Middle East, but in the world,” Frants Klintsevich, deputy chair of the upper house’s Committee for Defense and Security, said in a statement.
“We have orders of magnitude fewer military facilities in other countries than others do, especially NATO members. It’s a drop in the ocean,” he added.
Last Friday the State Duma voted unanimously to ratify the treaty.
The treaty was signed on August 26, 2015 in Damascus and provides the legal grounds for the ongoing Russian operation in Syria.
Credit to RT