Russia’s State Duma unanimously ratified a protocol related to the deployment of personnel to Russia’s Hmeymim air base in Syria’s Latakia Governorate from Moscow on Friday.

Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs (Russian): “Given the current situation with terrorist groups at the Syrian territory we unfortunately realise that we’re there to stay long and we are to remain on the front line resisting international terrorism in the Syrian territory and preventing terrorist expansion to the Russian and European territories.”

Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for Foreign Affairs (Russian): ‘Long’ does not necessarily mean 49 years. It means [we will be there] as long as we need in order to provide our military with social security and form modern military architecture which is what this protocol is about.”

Nikolai Pankov, State Secretary and Deputy Minister of Defence (Russian): “At first, we were discussing an agreement of unlimited duration, however, while working with the Syrian side we jointly decided that we would lay the basis of 49 years in the protocol with the possibility to renew for a period of 25 years.”

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