MOSCOW, July 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees may return to their places of permanent residence in the near future, the Russian Defense Ministry said Friday.
According to preliminary estimates, these refugees include up to 890,000 from Lebanon, up to 400,000 form Turkey, about 400,000 from Jordan, up to 400,000 from Iraq and Egypt each, and up to 400,000 primarily from the EU countries, said Mikhail Mizintsev, head of the Russian National Defense Management Center.
"To date, 336,4000 people can already be accommodated in 76 settlements of the country least affected by the war," Mizintsev said, according to a transcript by the Defense Ministry.
More than 6.9 million people have left Syria since 2011 when the the Syrian civil war broke out, most of whom are living in 45 countries, the official said.
Russia's newly established refugee center in Syria has started restoring infrastructure and vital facilities in 48 Syrian populated settlements, Major General Alexei Tsygankov said, according to the transcript.
On Monday, the Defense Ministry announced that Russia has established a center for the reception, distribution and accommodation of refugees in Syria.
The center will monitor the return of temporarily displaced persons and Syrian refugees from foreign countries to their homes and arrange humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria, as well as help restore the healthcare systems and other human services, the ministry said.