The Federation Council at the meeting on Wednesday, October 12, ratified the agreement between Russia and Syria on the indefinite presence of the Russian air group in the Syrian territory. For the placement of videoconferencing voted 158 senators, one abstained, reports TASS.

The head of the Federation Council Committee on defense and security Viktor Ozerov said that the presence in Syria of Russian aviation group helps maintain peace and stability in the region, is defensive in nature and not directed against other States, reported on the website of the upper house of Parliament. “Ratification of the agreement meets the interests of the Russian Federation in the fight against terrorism,” said the Senator.

The agreement provides that the Russian aviation group is in Syria at the request of the Syrian side. The air group stationed on the airfield Hamim in Latakia province in perpetuity and free of charge.

According to the document, the composition of the air group is determined by the Russian side. Air group of the Russian Federation shall be applied in accordance with the decision of its commander in coordination with representatives of the Syrian authorities.

Russia is entitled to bring into the territory of Syria weapons, ammunition, equipment and materials necessary to perform the tasks of the group and to ensure the safety and life of the personnel without charging any fees. The personnel of the Russian air group receives the right to freely cross the border of Syria, according to the documents, valid for travel from Russia, and is not subject to the Syrian border inspection and customs authorities.

Vehicles and aircraft of the Russian Federation, used in the interests of the Russian aviation group, shall be immune from inspection, search, requisition, arrest and other coercive measures.

In addition, the personnel, including family members, by analogy with representatives of the diplomatic corps are exempt from all direct and indirect taxes, but also enjoys full immunity from civil and administrative jurisdiction of the SAR. Movable and immovable property, archives and documents of the Russian air group is untouchable. The Syrian side makes no claims of Russia, its air group and its personal composition and does not excite them against any lawsuits in connection with their activities, the document says

The agreement is for an indefinite period. Its use is terminated at the expiration of one year from the date of receipt of the notification by one of the parties on intention to terminate the agreement.

The agreement was signed between Russia and Syria August 26, 2015 in Damascus, even before the official beginning of the Russian operation in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin on 9 August 2016, introduced the document to the state Duma. The lower house unanimously ratified the Treaty on 7 October.

Despite the fact that the contract was signed in August of 2015, it was published only on January 14, 2016 the agreement was published on the official portal of legal information. However, then the question of ratification of the Treaty did not go. 29 July 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered to submit to the President the document to the head of state made it for ratification to the state Duma.

There is a growing international isolation of Russia in connection with the situation in Syria. On the eve Minister of foreign Affairs of great Britain Boris Johnson has called Russia guilty in the attack on the humanitarian convoy of the United Nations in Aleppo, citing as evidence some satellite photos. The head of the British foreign Ministry noted the need to investigate war crimes in Syria to international court and urged the British to organise protests at the Russian Embassy in London.

The Russian defense Ministry denied the words of Johnson, calling them “Russophobic hysteria”. The Department insists that the Russian aircraft in the area to find the convoy in Aleppo, in the time of the shelling was not.

Russia 8 Oct vetoed on made by France in the UN Security Council resolution calling for an end to the bombing of Aleppo and a military aircraft fly over the city. The Russian foreign Ministry explained that the text of the resolution “flagrantly distorted the reality of the situation, wore politicized, imbalanced and one-sided character.”

French leader Francois Hollande said that if one of the permanent members of the security Council will block the document, it is discreditied this country and make it responsible for the continued bloodshed. After that, in Paris announced the intention to appeal to the international court to investigate war crimes in Syria.

October 3, the state Department announcedthat the US cease negotiations with Russia on the settlement of the situation in Syria and withdraw its personnel who were involved in the creation of a Joint Executive center. Washington will retain Moscow’s only military contacts to avoid conflicts with air operations in Syria. The U.S. decision was due to the fact that “Russia has failed to fulfill its promises, including its obligations under international humanitarian law”. Washington said “or Moscow’s unwillingness or inability forced the Syrian regime to cooperate”.

The Federation Council ratified the agreement on the permanent deployment of Russian air group in Syria 12.10.2016

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