President Putin Ratifies Protocol on Russian Air Group Deployment in Syria

MOSCOW, July 26. /TASS/. President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday signed a federal law on ratification of a protocol to the agreement on deploying an air force grouping of the Russian Armed Forces in Syria. The document was published at the official website of legislative information.

The protocol, which the Russian and Syrian officials signed of January 18, 2017, in Damascus says that Syria transfers to Russia on terms of gratuitous use until the dates of expiry of the agreement a land plot at Hmeymim air base and the installations located there.

The document aims to lay down the international legal grounds that will regulate the terms of deployment of the Russia air force grouping in Syria and will provide for the strengthening Russia and Syria’s defense capability proceeding from their mutual intention to consolidate defense cooperation.

The protocol also spells out the conditions for Russia’s jurisdiction over its air force group in the places of its deployments, and the issues related to the status of Russian servicemen, members of their families and civilian personnel.

The document specifies immunities and privileges, as well as the mechanisms for assistance on the issues of jurisdiction and legal aid on cases pertaining to civilian, criminal and administrative offenses.

The protocol says the agreement shall have legal effect over a period of 49 years and will have an automatic prolongation for periods of 25 years subsequently.