Bashar Assad is in talks about starting regular passenger flights between Syria and Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula currently occupied by Russia, Russian news agencies reported Tuesday.
The agencies cited members of a delegation of Crimea's de facto authorities visiting Syria this week, which includes the Kremlin-installed Prime Minister of Crimea Sergei Aksyonov.
Assad also said he will "surely" visit Yalta International Economic Forum in April 2019 if possible, RIA news agency reported, citing the forum's co-chair Andrei Nazarov.
Crimea has been under Western sanctions since it was illegally annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014.
Russia is a key ally of Assad in Syria's seven-year-long conflict and the leaders of two other Russia-backed breakaway regions, Georgia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia, also visited Damascus this year.
In late May, Syria recognized the independence of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia and later established diplomatic relations with the unrecognized republics.
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