Syrian President Bashar Assad says the estimated economic loss to the country from the war is $200 billion. He said rebuilding contracts will primarily be given to Russia, China and Iran.

“The economic damage and damage to infrastructure exceeds $200 billion. Economic issues can be resolved when the situation in Syria stabilizes. But the reconstruction of infrastructure requires a lot of time,” Assad said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

Assad said that many Western countries that were against Syria will try to get profitable contracts for rebuilding work, but Damascus will lean to its proven allies – Russia, China and Iran.

“I suppose that a lot of countries that were against Syria, I mean first of all Western countries, will try to direct their companies to take part in this process. However, for us in Syria there is absolutely no doubt that we will ask friendly states first,” Assad said.

”If you were to pose this question to any Syrian citizen, his answer, politically and emotionally, would be that we welcome, first of all, the companies from the three countries, primarily from Russia,” said the Syrian president.

According to Assad, Syria has hundreds of infrastructure projects in different areas and specializations for Russian business.

The conflict in Syria began in March 2011 and has taken the lives of more than 220,000 people and according to UN data has left millions displaced.