On Tuesday October 16, Russian Prime Minister of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov intends to invite Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to visit the annexed peninsula during the fifth Yalta International Economic Forum which will be held in April 2019.
Aksyonov revealed his intention during a session of the Syria-Crimea bilateral cooperation commission, TASS reports.
“We have already had the opportunity to invite your colleagues from the government to the fifth Yalta International Economic Forum. We hope that tomorrow at the meeting with Mr. President [Assad] we will be able to pass on the invitation to him too. The rest depends on a political decision,” Aksyonov said.
Earlier Aksyonov spoke about the negotiations with the Syrian Ministry of Economy and Foreign Trade concerning possible collaboration. He said that he could not disclose any details of the negotiations due to sanctions.
A delegation of members of the Russian government of Crimea arrived in Syria on October 15. They plan to sign an agreement on trade, economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation between Crimea and the Syrian province of Latakia.
The Russia-controlled company Crimean Sea Ports announced that it will start to ship coal, wheat and construction materials to Syria by the end of the year.
International organizations have condemned Russia’s occupation and annexation of Crimea as illegal. Western countries have imposed a range of sanctions on Russia in response. Russia denies that it is occupying the peninsula, instead calling it a “restoration of historic justice”. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has officially declared February 20, 2014, as the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.