Diplomatic relations were established between the USSR and Syria on July 22, 1944.
The two countries concluded an agreement on trade and payments on Nov. 16, 1955. In joint communiques of June 25, 1956, and Aug. 6, 1957, both countries expressed their intention to establish a lasting friendship, to develop economic and cultural cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, to exercise noninterference in internal affairs, and to respect each other’s integrity and sovereignty.
On June 25, 1957, the two countries concluded an agreement on wireless telegraph communications. On Oct. 28, 1957, the two sides concluded an agreement on economic and technical cooperation. Syria was granted a long-term credit on favorable terms, and the USSR agreed to help in the construction of railways, bridges, and a nitrogen fertilizer plant. The USSR also provided assistance toward the equipping of an electric power plant and the operation of an irrigation system, which would include the irrigation of pasturelands. The agreement also provided for the organization of a center for agricultural research and geological exploration. Complementary protocols to the agreement were signed Sept. 7, 1960, and Aug. 26, 1964.
The countries concluded an agreement on cultural cooperation (Aug. 19, 1962, replacing a previous agreement of Aug. 20, 1956), on air transportation (Dec. 27, 1962), on long-term trade (Nov. 4, 1965), and on payments (Nov. 4, 1965). The two countries signed a protocol on Apr. 22, 1966, which provided for the extending of long-term credit to Syria on favorable terms toward the construction of a hydroengineering complex on the Euphrates River for irrigation and electric power production. At the same time notes were exchanged concerning Syria’s resolution of the issues raised by the use of water from the Euphrates River according to norms of international law. On Dec. 18, 1966, the two parties signed an agreement on economic and technical cooperation that provided Syria with another long-term credit on favorable terms to be used toward the construction of the first stage of a hydroelectric complex on the Euphrates River.
In addition, the two countries concluded agreements on scientific and technical cooperation, which provided for the creation of a joint commission (July 5, 1969), on cooperation in establishing a direct tropospheric radio link (Mar. 30, 1970), and on trade for the period 1971–75 (Apr. 10, 1970).
On Feb. 25, 1972, the countries concluded an agreement on economic and technical assistance, whereby the USSR extended a long-term credit to Syria on favorable terms and provided assistance for the development of the petroleum extraction industry, railway construction, hydrogeological and hydrological research, and the expansion of harbor facilities at Latakia (Al Ladhiqiyah). Another agreement on economic and technical cooperation, signed July 8, 1972, granted aid to Syria for the construction of power transmission lines and provided for the delivery of equipment, machinery, and materials for the Euphrates hydroelectric power and irrigation network. Another, long-term agreement on economic and technical cooperation was signed on Apr. 13, 1974.
A joint declaration of Apr. 13, 1974, noted that both countries shared common positions on major international issues and stated that all-around cooperation had spread to include defense issues. The USSR confirmed that it would continue to support the just cause of the Arab nations.
Relations between the two countries were expanded by the conclusion of agreements on economic and technical cooperation (Feb. 3, 1975) and on cooperation in matters of public health and medicine (Feb. 3, 1975).
E. M. ZAITSEV