Results of a working visit of the interdepartmental delegation to the Syrian Arab Republic (July 24-29, 2021)
In accordance with the decision of the President of the Russian Federation in order to give additional impetus to the solution of humanitarian problems the Russian interdepartmental delegation made a working visit to the Syrian Arab Republic from 24 to 29 of July 2021 (hereinafter - the working visit).
In the framework of the visit, a joint meeting of interdepartmental coordination headquarters of Russia and Syria was held in Damascus. The representatives of international organizations, including relevant bodies of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Syrian Arab Red Crescent as well as the diplomatic corps took part in the meeting. The speakers noted the importance of providing humanitarian and donor assistance to Syrian without any pre-conditions, the need to lift unilateral sanctions, which negatively affect the humanitarian situation in the Syrian Arab Republic, the demand to step-up the allocation of funding for the reconstruction and restoration of social infrastructure facilities, and the advisability of combining efforts to urge the refugees and internally displaced persons to return to their homes.
During the working meeting thanks to the joint efforts of 3 state authorities, 14 federal executive authorities, 15 non-governmental organizations and 9 executive authorities of the territories of the Russian Federation humanitarian assistance was provided to the Syrian population.
The Russian side delivered more than 160 tons of humanitarian cargo, including food, clothing, sports equipment, potable water, medicines, personal hygiene products, detergents, children's toys, office supplies, educational literature, school supplies, diesel generators, express tests and bedding.
During the work of Russian delegation in the SAR, humanitarian actions were carried out in the cities of Homs, Damascus, Maalul, Masiyaf, Daraa and others, during which 67,173 kg of cargo were handed over to the Syrian citizens. The rest of the humanitarian cargo was distributed by the Russian Defence Ministry in the most problematic areas of Syria, such as Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo, Homs and Daraa, that is where the need for humanitarian aid is the most critical.
In addition, during the working visit, 250,000 doses of Sputnik Light vector vaccine for preventing coronavirus infection caused by SARS-CoV-2 and 1 million tests for laboratory diagnosis of the novel coronavirus infection were donated to the Ministry of Health of the Syrian Arab Republic as humanitarian aid.
Federation Council of the Russian Federation
Representatives of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation on a humanitarian mission organized by the All-Russian organization of veterans "Brothers-in-Arms" visited an orphanage and an exhibition of children's drawings in Maalul, where they took part in providing individual humanitarian aid to orphans. During the event, food, school supplies and student backpacks were distributed.
A number of meetings with administration of some ministries and institutions of Syria were held, dedicated to the enlargement of Russian-Syrian cooperation in different areas.
Russian-Syrian Business Union
As part of a visit to Aleppo, there was held a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Transport of the SAR, of the Civil Aviation Directorate and with the Chairman of the Transport Committee of the People's Council of the SAR, during which an agreement was signed on the opening of cargo air service on the routes Krasnodar-Aleppo, Krasnodar-Damascus.
On the initiative of the St. Petersburg Committee for Foreign Relations, talks were held with the leadership of the SAR Navy about opening an analogue of the Nakhimov Naval Academy in Syria. The initiative was supported by the Syrian side.
Representatives of Rossotrudnichestvo and its subordinate organizations handed over humanitarian aid to the residents of Maalul. The humanitarian cargo included food, hygiene products, water filters, backpacks and school supplies. The total weight of the humanitarian cargo was more than 6.5 tons.
There were also humanitarian actions at the Church of the Prophet of God Elijah, a children's summer camp, the Antioch Orthodox Church "Blessing", the Antioch Patriarchate and the Damascus Humanitarian University.
The Russian House in Damascus hosted a meeting with Russian compatriots and graduates of Russian and Soviet universities, during which humanitarian aid was handed over, including food and educational game sets for children, hygiene supplies, works of literature and educational materials for teaching Russian language.
There was held a meeting with the Syrian Deputy Minister of Education, in course of which kits of educational literature were handed over to teachers of Russian language who teach in comprehensive schools.
In the city of Masyaf the Syrian people received food, hygiene products, household chemicals, medical masks, stationery and sports equipment.
The Arab Cultural Center in the Syrian city of Tartus received humanitarian kits, including multimedia viewing equipment (projector and screen), a "golden" collection of Russian movies, Russian language teaching kits, and development kits for children.
Food, hygiene products, filters for water purification, toys, clothes for children, and wheelchairs were donated to the city of Daraa. The aid is intended for needy Syrian families of the region, the center for the deaf and dumb and the kindergarten.
Ministry of Education of Russia
During a visit to the Martyrs' Daughters School in Damascus, humanitarian aid (sets of stationery for students) was handed over to the school administration.
The Ministry of Education of the Syrian Arab Republic has received humanitarian aid, which includes sets of stationery for pupils of Syrian compulsory educational institutions, as well as more than 600 books with works of classical Russian literature and children's tales in Russian.
The delegation met with representatives of Damascus University and Al-Manara University (Latakia). Representatives of Russian and Syrian universities discussed the possibilities of signing agreements on cooperation in a distance format, and also agreed to cooperate in the development of educational and teaching systems for the study of Russian as a foreign language, taking into account country-specific features and teacher training in order to work in the Syrian Arab Republic.
With the support of the Ministry of Education of Russia, teachers from the Moscow State Pedagogical University held an online seminar for Syrian teachers of Russian language "Teaching Russian as a foreign language: current methodological solutions".
FCS of Russia
The Federal Customs Service of Russia and the State Customs Service of Syria in course of the negotiations signed Technical Conditions of Implementation of the "Green Corridor" project, aimed at accelerating customs procedures for bona fide participants of foreign economic activity in mutual trade.
During the visit to Latakia, the FCS of Russia delegation studied the principles, procedure and specifics of customs processing in the customs authorities of Syria in order to take into account and adapt relevant procedures within the framework of the implementation of the Green Corridor project.
Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia
Russian Federal Medical and Biological Agency specialists and Syrian specialists performed a demonstration surgery to implant a Russian-made hip arthroplasty, manufactured by ZAO TREK-E COMPOSIT, at the Tishrin military hospital. The total time of the operation (including patient positioning, introduction of anesthesia, intervention, removal of the patient from the operating table, hemodynamic stabilization, release from anesthesia, and control X-rays) was 4.5 hours.
Damascus University hosted a lecture course on endoprosthetics.
On the territory of "Khirjala" refugee camp in Rif Damascus province in cooperation with the Syrian side medical consultations as well as counseling of adult and child population of the Syrian Arab Republic were organized. Specialists examined 35 adults and 5 children. Among diseases revealed were diseases of cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine systems and musculoskeletal system. All patients were prescribed treatment and the Syrian doctors were given recommendations for further follow-up.
As part of humanitarian aid, the medical team of FMBA of Russia handed over to the Syrian side the necessary medicines and consumables for treatment.
EMERCOM of Russia
During the visit specialists of the Russian EMERCOM held working meetings with officials in charge of civil defense, fire safety and development of international cooperation, and visited emergency response units in Damascus. During their tour of civil defense and fire safety facilities, the Syrian colleagues conducted firefighting and evacuation exercises.
Syrian colleagues expressed interest in developing cooperation in the field of emergency management and put forward the initiative to sign the relevant interagency memorandum.
Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia
The Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia handed over foods and clothes with a total weight of 27,560 kg (sugar, rice grits, vegetable oil, wheat flour, synthetic-filled blankets and synthetic mattresses) as humanitarian aid to the Syrian population.
Representatives of Rosfinmonitoring handed over to the Syrian side a diesel generator to ensure continuity of operations during periods of power outages.
Two diesel generators were delivered to the boarding school of Ram Al Ans and the orphanage for children in Homs together with representatives of OOO CMRBank.
Moreover, there was signed a memorandum with the Syrian side to mutual freezing the assets of people suspected of the assets of those suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. The sides also agreed on quotas and directions of training programs for employees of the Central Bank and the Syrian Financial Intelligence Service on special training programs in the field of combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism at the International Training and Methodology Center for Financial Monitoring. An agreement was reached on sending Syrian students to study at the universities of the Network Institute in the field of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism in the direction of training "Financial and economic security" within the Rosfinmonitoring quotas.
Agreement was reached on the participation of Syrian schoolchildren and students in the International Olympiad in the field of financial security, which is held at the initiative of Rosfinmonitoring in accordance with the instruction of the President of the Russian Federation.
Institute for the History of Material Culture
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Preservation of the unique cultural heritage of Syria is backed by an agreement reached between the Department of Antiquities and Museums of the Syrian Arab Republic and the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Science (IHMC RAS).
Within the framework of the working visit, the Ministry of Culture of the SAR recieved 3D-models of the monuments Deir al-Salib and Qasr ibn Vardan projected by the IHMC RAS.
They managed to arrange an international round table titled "Cultural Heritage in Danger" and two field workshops at the World Cultural Heritage sites "Archaeological Monuments of Palmyra" and "Old City in Bosra". It was held with the participation of specialists from the Institute for History and Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the State Museum of the East, the Department of Antiquities and Museums of Syria, experts of the National Committee of the International Council for the Conservation of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS, Russia) and UNESCO, as a result they masterminded a long-term working plan in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Working groups of the round table and working meetings stressed that the preservation of cultural heritage directly contributes to the security and economic growth of the state, as well as the provision of every person with the necessary material goods and decent employment, which is one of the main factors promoting refugees return.
All-Russian organization of war veterans "Brothers-in-arms"
Leaders of Russian oncologists on behalf of the Minister of Health of the Russian Federation took part in the working visit as part of a delegation from the All-Russian organization of war veterans “Brothers-in-Arms”.
During the visit they held a round table where they signed an agreement on cooperation between the two oncological associations of countries and the organization of internships to the facilities of the National Medical Research Center of Radiology.
As part of a working trip oncologists visited a stem cell transplant center and a pediatric oncology and hematology department of the University Pediatric Hospital in Damascus, where they met with a council for children urological pathology problems. Additionaly they discussed current challenges and future cooperation vision with Syrian colleagues at the Al-Biruni hospital.
With the support of the Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Control of the Movement of Refugees in the Syrian Arab Republic they managed to deliver about 7 tons of food, medicines, toys, children's clothing, personal hygiene products to the city of Daraa and provided a center helping children with disabilities with food kits, medicines, toys, diapers.
They have given thirteen-year-old girl named of Tuka al-Tarifi injured in 2016 a wheelchair enabling her to travel outside. They also helped children with eyes and ears problems.
As part of the humanitarian mission in Maalula they provided all the children with backpacks with school supplies, Russian dolls and sweet pastery. In addition, the Russian delegation visited the "Blessing" children's summer camp of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. The "Brothers-is-arms" organization, provided the children staying at the camp with TV sets and sports equipment.
Healthcare Importers and Exporters Association
The Syrian side received humanitarian aid of 1.4 tons of disinfectants and 5,000 tests for coronavirus infection antibodies detection as well as 2,700 packages of drugs for cancer treatment.
During the humanitarian mission in the cities of Homs and Tartus were concerned Moscow government officials handed over Russian language textbooks, fiction literature and backpacks with stationery. They also provided humanitarian aid to the Orphanages and Damascus University where Russian language is studied.
In the course of a visit they held a round table with the participation of representatives of organizations of Russian compatriots living in Syria, teachers of Russian as a foreign language from various schools and universities in Syria, representatives of an association “Russian word”, as well as Syrian schoolchildren studying Russian language.
They also staged concerts of the Moscow song & dance band “YAR” as a part of the visit. The artists performed on stage in front of the visitors of a joint meeting of the interdepartmental coordination centers of Russia and Syria, and also put on a concert at one of the Russian military bases for Russian and Syrian military personnel.
Officials of the Leningrad region carried out the delivery of humanitarian cargo in the city of Masyaf in the province of Homs, as well as in the province of Daraa, including an orphanage for handicapped children.
The governor of Daraa province highly appreciated the role and input of the Russian regions’ contribution, namely, the Leningrad region for assistance to the population in course of transition to peaceful living.
The Kaluga region officials and people recognised and extended their support to the Syrian people, who have been tackling globe terrorism challenge for many years now.
As part of a humanitarian mission in the Daraa province, they handed over more than 1.5 tons of food products from Kaluga manufacturers so as to deliver part of the humanitarian cargo to an orphanage for handicapped children and Syrian refugees.
The Governor of the Daraa province thanked the government of the Kaluga region and its people for the humanitarian support and noted that the Russian proverb “A friends in need is a friend indeed” can be applied to this situation.
The administration of the Krasnodar Territory delivered humanitarian aid for the Syrian Arab Republic. Enterprises of the Krasnodar Territory provided humanitarian assistance (medicines, hygienic paper products, detergents, food, etc.) with a total weight of 6.7 tons. Part of the humanitarian aid (4.5 tons) was handed over to Syrian citizens during a humanitarian mission in Maaloula.
Khanty-Mansiisk autonomous district
As a part of the humanitarian mission in Masyaf they delivered food and school equipment to the Syrian people.
In addition, the Ugra delegation delivered humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees living in the refugee camp, which is located close to the industrial area of the city of Hassiya.
The Ugra delegation visited the only boarding school in the Homs province situated in the village of Ram al-Anaz. There are about 250 school children of local residents and refugees from the occupied provinces, as well as orphans whose parents became victims of the war. They also provided children with backpacks and power generators for the school.
Little Syrians greeted the Russians with clapping and holding gifts close to the heart, sincerely spoke those few words that they know in Russian language: "Thank you, Russia!"
In the course of the humanitarian mission to the city of Harasta, Rif Damascus province, food and household chemicals were given to the people of Syria. In total 15 tons of food and hygiene products were delivered to Syria on behalf of the governor of the Tula Region Alexei Dyumin. The famous Tula sweets were also transferred to the Syrians: gingerbread, candy and honey.
According to the statement of the first deputy governor of the region Vyacheslav Fedorishchev who took part in the humanitarian mission, he claimed that future vision entails that people and of the Tula region will continue to support the Syrian people.
In the course of the humanitarian mission to the city of Daraa, the Syrian side received humanitarian aid for school and child daycare centre.
Representatives of the region along with the NGO “Russian Humanitarian Mission” held a humanitarian delivery in Masyaf, during which 1.5 tons of aid were handed over to the Syrian side - school notebooks, school gears, food, bed linen, household chemicals, detergents, kettles, fire extinguishers.
Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District
Representatives of the region delivered a humanitarian cargo in total of 8 tons to one of the refugee camps and to foster boarding school in the city of Homs, including food sets (olive oil, rice, canned food, flour, tea, sugar, coffee) and sports equipment (swings, trampolines, balls and gates for football, ball pumps).
The targeted distribution of humanitarian aid in the most difficult distressed areas of Syria to be completed until 1st of September 2021 in the course of humanitarian missions.
The timing of the working visit was due to the degradation of the socio-economic situation, caused primarily by the sanctions pressure on Syria from western countries and the coronavirus pandemic. In such unprecedented conditions Russia's efforts for support is absolutely reasonable and will be continued.