On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that Hezbollah is an “important political force” in Lebanon.
This came during Putin’s participation in the plenary session of the International Valdai Forum in Russia, where he also stressed the need to address the crisis in Lebanon and settle matters without bloodshed, according to the Russia Today website.
“Hezbollah represents a great political force in Lebanon, but we undoubtedly have always called, including in Lebanon, to resolve all conflicts through dialogue,” the Russian president said in his statements.
“We are in contact with almost all the political parties there, and we will continue to do so in order to reach a settlement without bloodshed, especially since the situation in the Middle East is on the brink of permanent tension in recent times,” he added.
He also indicated that Moscow will do “everything in its power” to convince all parties to the internal political process in Lebanon of the necessity of giving precedence to logic and seeking to reach an agreement.
Putin revealed his position on Hezbollah and Lebanon, in response to a question about the disaster in the Beirut port explosion last year, and the possibility of Russia’s assistance in investigations by providing satellite images that may show shipments of ammonium nitrate to the port over the past years.
He explained, “I do not understand frankly how any satellite images can help if we have them at all, but I promise to study the matter and if we can help in the investigation, we will not hesitate to do so.”
On July 2, Judge Al-Bitar indicted 10 officials and officers, including two deputies from the “Amal” movement (Hezbollah’s ally), Ali Hassan Khalil and Ghazi Zuaiter (two former ministers), and the former prime minister, Hassan Diab.
However, these lawsuits were rejected by some Lebanese political forces, including the “Hezbollah” group, whose leader Hassan Nasrallah considered Al-Bitar’s investigations “politicized” and “does not lead to the truth,” which the latter denied.
On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion occurred in the port, killing 217 people and wounding about 7,000 others, as well as huge material damage to residential and commercial buildings, due to the presence of about 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, which was confiscated from a ship and stored since year 2014.
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