МOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will be the only country to take part in rebuilding Syrian energy facilities, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Monday, after holding talks in Syria with President Bashar al-Assad, the RIA news agency reported.
Rogozin was speaking a week after President Vladimir Putin ordered “a significant part” of Moscow’s military contingent in Syria start withdrawing, declaring their work largely done.
His comments offered a glimpse of how Moscow hopes it can be involved in Syria’s economy, which has been badly damaged by six years of conflict.
“The Syrian leadership would like to only cooperate with Russia ... in rebuilding all of the country’s energy facilities,” RIA quoted Rogozin as saying.
“Mr. President Bashar al-Assad said today that Syria has no desire to work with companies from countries which betrayed Syria at a certain moment,” he was cited as saying.
The Interfax news agency also quoted Rogozin as saying that Russia and Syria would create a joint company to exploit a Syrian phosphates deposit, while RIA cited him as saying that Moscow planned to use Syrian sea ports to import Russian grain for Syria and other countries like Iraq.
“These are very important agreements which will allow us to win this war,” Interfax quoted Rogozin as saying.
Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Andrew Osborn