Syrian Ambassador to Russia: Assad will not visit annexed Crimea

Syrian President Bashar Assad is unlikely to attend the Yalta International Economic Forum in April, stated Syrian Ambassador to Moscow Riyad Haddad, as quoted by Russian media.

The forum will be held on April 17-20.

“I don't think he [Assad] will participate in the forum,” Haddad told reporters.

Andrei Nazarov, the co-chairman of the forum’s organizing committee, previously stated that Bashar Assad and the French right-wing leader Marine Le Pen will attend the Yalta International Economic Forum. He said that the Syrian side confirmed the visit after Assad received an invitation to visit the peninsula in December.

It was reported earlier that the Crimea increased gain exports to Syria last year. Syria provides the sale of surplus crops to the peninsula, which is annexed by Russia and is under sanctions, and guarantees to President Bashar Assad a reliable supply of wheat.

“According to port data and agency sources, about 10 vessels delivered no less than 170 thousand tons of grain to Syria from July 2017 to May 2018,” the report said.

As reported, Assad’s government support the supply of wheat from the Crimea since Syrian wheat cultivation has suffered because of the war, and the production of grain in Syria is subsidized by the state.

  Kremlin, Russia, Crimea, Syria, Le Pen, Assad, Yalta International Economic Forum