Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country is ready to provide military aid to Lebanon to help it confront terrorist threats, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Thursday.
Shoigu informed his advisers to set a date for a meeting for joint committees next June to discuss the details of the assistance, the daily quoted informed sources as saying.
Moscow will inform Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwaji during his upcoming visit that it will provide the Lebanese military with helicopters, they said.
According to al-Joumhouria, a contract signed between the two sides for Russia to provide Lebanon with rocket launchers and anti-tank guided Kornet missiles under the now defunct Saudi military aid, will be renewed.
In late September 2014, Interior minister Nuhad Mashnouq visited Moscow to discuss Russian supplies to Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces. A Lebanese military delegation also visited Russia that year .
In 2010, Russia agreed to provide military aid to Lebanon. Officials said the Kremlin offered MiG-29 fighter-jets and T-72 main battle tanks but they were never delivered
The Lebanese government will reportedly fund the purchase of Russian arms
Riyadh announced in February it was halting $4 billion in aid grants to the army and security forces due to what it described as stances taken by Lebanese officials which were not in harmony with the ties between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia called on its citizens not to travel to Lebanon for safety reasons and ordered those staying there to leave.
The Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League also blacklisted the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militant group.
Saudi’s punitive measures against Lebanon began after Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, an ally of Hezbollah, declined to support Saudi resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers.
The Lebanese army is fighting the Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front in border areas.
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