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Law ratifying Agreement between Russia and Syria on deployment of Russian Armed Forces air group

October 14, 2016

The President signed the Federal Law On the Ratification of the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on the Deployment of an Air Group of the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Federal Law was passed by the State Duma on October 7, 2016, and approved by the Federation Council on October 12, 2016.

The Federal Law ratifies the Agreement between the Russian Federation and the Syrian Arab Republic on the Deployment of an Air Group of the Russian Federation’s Armed Forces in the Syrian Arab Republic, signed in Damascus on August 26, 2015.

The Agreement sets forth the terms and conditions related to the presence of the Russian air group in the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Russian air group has been deployed in the Syrian Arab Republic at Syria’s request and is based at Khmeimim airfield (Latakia Province), which has been provided to Russia with its infrastructure and the required territory free of charge under the agreement between the Parties.

The Russian air group shall operate under the command of its commander and as per the plans coordinated by the Parties.

Russia shall be in charge of determining the composition of the air group in coordination with Syria.

Imports into the Syrian Arab Republic of arms, ammunition, equipment and materials the Russian air group needs in order to be able to fulfil its mission, ensure the safety of its personnel and provide for its vital needs, shall be exonerated from any charges or duties.

The Russian air group’s personnel shall be free from any restrictions when crossing the border of the Syrian Arab Republic and shall not be subject to inspection by border control or customs bodies of the Syrian Arab Republic.

The Russian air group’s personnel and their family members shall benefit from the same immunities and privileges as the diplomatic staff of the diplomatic mission and their family members as per the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of April 18, 1961.

The Russian air group shall not be subject to any direct or indirect taxation and shall enjoy absolute civil and administrative immunity in the Syrian Arab Republic. Movable and real property, archives and documents of the Russian air group shall be inviolable. Transport vehicles and aircraft of the Russian Federation used in the interests of the Russian air group shall enjoy immunity from inspection, search, requisition, arrest and other coercive action.

Syria shall have no claims against the Russian Federation, its air group or personnel and shall refrain from filing lawsuits against them in connection with the activity of the Russian air group and its personnel.

The Agreement shall be open-ended and be applied on a temporary basis from its signing date.

The Agreement does not include any rules other than those consistent with the laws of the Russian Federation.

The ratification of the Agreement serves the interests of the Russian Federation. Its implementation will be funded within the limits of federal budget allocations to the Defence Ministry for the relevant year.

October 14, 2016