Russian and Syrian officials late last week reportedly agreed to a barter deal in which Syria will provide Russia crude oil in exchange for refined oil products . . . Syria has been struggling due to international sanctions that are restricting its ability to obtain fuel which is especially needed for military operations against the growing insurgency . . . Syrian Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Qadri Jamil said, “Russia wants to help the Syrian people” . . . the agreement will assist Syria’s efforts to evade international sanctions while offering a psychological boost to the embattled Syrian government . . . Moscow’s willingness to continue supporting the Assad regime illustrates the Kremlin’s ongoing resistance to international efforts to force a transition to a new Syrian government.
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