A sea line between Syrian port of Tartus and Sevastopol is being established in the Crimea peninsula as part of a series of steps taken by Damascus with separatist regions.
Russia established a military base in Tartus under a 49-year contract and Sevastopol is located in the Crimean peninsula overlooking the Black Sea and is known as the Russian Military Glory City. It is currently the headquarters of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.
Russia Today news agency quoted Sevastopol vice governor Vladimir Bazarov as saying that it is decided to launch a permanent shipping line between Sevastopol and Tartous for the supply of grain to Syria. He indicated that it is essential to increase the number of imports and exports to operate the two ports currently under international sanctions.
Syria needs building materials and Russia is ready to import Syrian agricultural and textile products, asserted Bazarouv.
Sevastopol Governor Dmitry Ovsyannikov and Tartous Governor Safwan Abu Saadi discussed "an agreement to launch social and economic cooperation between Sevastopol and Tartous as part of the development of regional cooperation between Russia and Syria."
Syrian head or regime Bashar al-Assad said that his children spent their vacation last year in Artek, a famous Russian youth camp on the Black Sea coast.
"My children visited Artek last year. They started to understand Russia better after that trip," Russian Duma member Dmitry Sablin quoted Assad as saying.
Assad's sons were among 44 Syrian children who spent their holidays in Artek last year, according to a program for Russian military children.
Artek is located on the Black Sea in the town of Hurzuf on the Crimean peninsula. It is one of 10 camps run by the Ministry of Education. During the Soviet era, winning a place in the camp was a valuable prize for Soviet children and visitors from other countries.
Observers considered Assad's choice to send his sons to Artek a proof of his personal ties with Russia, which intervened militarily in September 2015, and favored the regime in the conflict.
According to media sources that the Ukrainian site "Peacemaker" added Bashar al-Assad to the black list of people banned from visiting Crimea. According to the Ukrainian site, the children of Assad violated the borders of Ukraine and its laws when they "visited occupied Crimea".
Georgia announced it cut its diplomatic ties with Damascus over the latter's recognition of the independence of the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Syrian regime announced its recognition of the independence of the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia and established diplomatic relations, thus becoming the first Arab country to recognize these two countries, which separated from Georgia in 2008.
US strongly condemned the Syrian regime’s intention to establish diplomatic relations with the Russian-occupied Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
"These regions are part of Georgia," asserted State Department spokesperson Heather Nauer.
"We fully support Georgia’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, and call on all states to be mindful of their obligations under the UN Charter and do the same," indicated Nauer.