The number of victims in Syria continues to rise, but Syria is not the only nation suffering from the deteriorating security situation. Russian companies with investments in Syria are incurring huge financial losses amounting to billions of dollars. The Moscow Times discussed the commercial and economic ties between Syria and Russia, specifically the profitable arms contracts and Russian investments in infrastructure, energy and tourism in Syria.
The Moscow Times stated that the sum of Russian exports to Syria was 1.1 billion dollars in 2010, whereas Russian investments in the country amounted to 19.4 billion dollars in 2009. It can therefore be said that Russia has a lot on the line. The Moscow Times quoted Antoine Medrativ, sales manager for Uralmash drilling Co. that orders and export deals “invested in Syria and implemented for 14 years on the ground in Syria have come to a stop, as if they’ve reached a dead end.” He added that the nature of the company’s business necessitates working with people on the ground, dialogue and negotiation but that the current security situation makes that impossible.
According to UN estimates more than 2,200 demonstrators have been killed in the growing protest movement against Assad’s regime since March. The Syrian government, which does not allow reporters into the country, has used tanks, snipers and heavy artillery against the protesters to repress the uprising. The Moscow Times quoted Sergei Makarov, CEO of Stroytransgaz, a company that builds excavating equipment for natural gas in Syria, as saying, “despite the violence, our work continues without any disruptions whatsoever.”