Russian FM: Agreement Between QSD Militia and US Oil Company a Flagrant Violation of International Law and Syria’s Sovereignty

Press release on oil resources of northeastern Syria

According to incoming reports, in late July, the US Delta Crescent Energy company signed an agreement with the self-proclaimed Kurdish administration in Syria on oil production and on the development of oil deposit infrastructure in the northeast of the country. In addition, as part of the deal, the US company plans to transfer two mobile oil refineries to the Kurds that are supposedly designed to reduce any damage to the environment due to oil and oil product spills.

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo officially confirmed the signing of the deal. He noted that the paperwork on the deal took more time than Washington had hoped and that the agreements would help all the residents of northeastern Syria.

According to the media, the US Department of the Treasury has provided Delta Crescent Energy with a waiver from the unilateral sanctions that ban any transactions involving Syrian hydrocarbons.

This amounts to systematic violations of international legal standards and international humanitarian law by Washington, its commitments as an occupying power. Moreover, the US administration has again demonstrated its obvious disdain for the UN Charter and Security Council and General Assembly resolutions in favour of strict respect for Syria’s sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as a UN member.

The United States is illegally occupying territories in the northeast and south of Syria. Moreover, it is taking part in robbing and illegally trading in the country’s natural resources that are the asset of all Syrians. And this is being done against the backdrop of yet another toughening of unilateral sanctions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council. Exceptions are demonstratively made for the territories beyond Syrian government’s control. As is known, the sanctions undermine the failsafe supply of fuel and electricity for the Syrian people and create an artificial shortage of energy resources. Moreover, they are preventing Syria from receiving vital medications and medical equipment during the coronavirus pandemic.

It should be noted that the oil products produced in the northeastern regions of the country and the profits from smuggling them are not benefiting all the residents in that part of Syria. The media and analytical centres regularly publish information on civil protests in northeastern Syria against the illegal US presence and arbitrary rule of Kurdish authorities that do not care about the wellbeing of civilians. The US policy of artificially strengthening the Kurds at the expense of other ethnic and religious groups in northeastern Syria provokes domestic tensions and creates serious threats to regional security and stability.

We are seriously concerned and we regret these arbitrary and illegal actions, as well as the absence of a proper reaction from the international community.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation