Syria says preparing to finalize oil deal with Russia

In a third-world economy, there is no bottom. What sanctions? Syria has proven it will find a way around them.

Syria is preparing to complete a deal with ally Russia to secure much-needed oil products to keep its economy and military running, the head of a Syrian delegation to Russia said on Tuesday, weeks after he said an agreement had been reached.

Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil on August 3 told reporters that an agreement had been reached for Syria to export crude to Russia in exchange for refined oil products.

“It was an agreement in principle reached during our last visit,” Jamil said at a news conference, adding that sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union were biting into the Syrian economy.

“We have to find an alternative path. I think in the near future we will complete the preparatory stage and move on to a real agreement on the delivery of oil and oil products,” he said after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Russia has remained silent on the issue of an oil-for-oil-products swap deal, which could raise questions on the extent to which it might extend help to Assad’s government, whose days analysts and some western countries say are numbered.

Full article: Syria says preparing to finalize oil deal with Russia (Reuters)