Russia is printing Lebanese and Syrian cash


Russia, which provides diplomatic support to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also has helped Syria with money. Quite literally — Russia’s state-owned printing firm, which produces ruble bills and Russian passports, has printed Syrian pound banknotes.

The printing company, Goznak, disclosed the information in an interview with its chief that was published in Russia’s government official newspaper, Rossiyskaya Gazeta, last week.

“For years Syria was ordering its currency printed in Austria. However, because of the European Union’s blockade, the printing house has refused to fulfill the order, so Syria asked us,” Arkady Trachuk said.

Russia doesn’t recognize Syrian rebels as the legitimate representatives of Syria, in contrast to some Western states, and opposes Western efforts to curtail Mr. Assad’s power.

In October, Russia attempted to supply Syria with radar parts, but a Syrian plane with the cargo was made to land in Turkey. The incident deepened the spat between Russia and the West over Mr. Assad’s regime.

Goznak, which has several printing factories and mints, was founded in 1919. Although its main task is to supply Russia with banknotes and coins, it also prints Lebanese, Laotian, Malaysian, Guatemalan and Belorussian currencies.