Russia’s lower house of parliament has ratified a treaty with Syria which authorizes the indefinite deployment of the Russian military. The ratification formalizes Russia’s military presence at the Hemeimeem air base in the coastal province of Latakia, allowing Moscow to use the military facility free of charge. Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov had earlier urged lawmakers to support the deal. Pankov also told parliament that the military was considering the possibility of returning to bases in Vietnam and Cuba.
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