Russia provided loan to Syria for food purchases -Interfax

Adds details, context

MOSCOW, June 4 (Reuters) - Russia has provided a loan to Syria to be used in part to pay for food purchases, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov.

Moscow has supported Syrian President Bashar al Assad in the country, whose economy has been strained by a multi-sided 10-year conflict, as well as a financial crisis in neighbouring Lebanon.

Russia, one of the world's largest exporters of wheat, supplies grain to Syria on commercial basis, but humanitarian supplies are possible upon request, Borisov was quoted as saying.

He did not disclose the size of the loan.

Russia plans to supply Syria with up to 1 million tonnes of wheat in 2021, of which 350,000 tonnes have already been delivered this spring, the Russian embassy to Syria said in May.

(Reporting by Maria Tsvetkova; writing by Polina Devitt; Editing by Alison Williams and Steve Orlofsky)

((Polina.Devitt@thomsonreuters.com))

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