IPFS News Link • Syria

Assad Seeks Major Russian Investment As Syria's Economy Smashed By US Sanctions

• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden

It's being described in regional newspapers as "of special importance, given the political and economic files that will be discussed."

Crucially the meeting comes after Syria's already beleaguered war economy has been further smashed by far reaching US sanctions, and as American forces are still occupying oil and gas rich Deir Ezzor province. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov discussed boosting trade ties as Assad called on urgent support from allies needed to shore up the failing economy.

An unnamed Western diplomat cited in Reuters on the critical timing of the high level meeting said, "Russia turned the tide for Assad and with the regime now facing its gravest challenges, Moscow is in a better position than any other time to further squeeze Assad— meaning Russia can gain more concessions both militarily and in terms of badly needed investment in rebuilding Syria's destroyed infrastructure, something China is said to be eyeing as well.

With Russian help, Assad emerged victorious in the nearly decade-long war, but now faces a long battle for the survival of the the economy and currency. Beginning in the summer, as Damascus began feeling the squeeze of Washington's so-called Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which many critics say is actually immensely increasing the suffering of civilians, the Syrian pound (or lira) began hitting record lows.

The pound lost 67% of its value in the period stretching from mid-May to mid-June. The Caesar Act came into effect on June 17, 2020 - at which point one dollar equaled over 2,000 pounds. Before the war (pre-2011), it was 1$=50SYP.