Russia calls Israel's violations of Lebanon's airspace unacceptable


Russia views Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace as a blatant and “regular” violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, the foreign minister said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, during talks in Moscow, that Israel was in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 for its failure to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty.

“We consider violating this resolution unacceptable, especially as far as respect for Lebanon’s sovereignty and airspace is concerned,” he said in a statement. “Regrettably, this is a regular violation by the Israeli air force.”

Resolution 1701 secured a cease-fire in a 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel. The measure calls on Hezbollah to disarm while reminding Israel of its obligation to respect Lebanon’s sovereignty.

Israel maintains a defensive posture given the presence of Hezbollah along Lebanon’s southern border. Beirut has complained repeatedly to the United Nations that the Israeli military was violating its airspace with frequent overflights.

Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said security forces have arrested at least 27 Syrians suspected of smuggling weapons to anti-regime forces across the border.

He added, however, that Lebanon has been able to maintain the security along its western border with Syria.