Russia provides Lebanon with satellite images of Beirut port blast


MOSCOW (Reuters) –

This August 4, 2020 file photo, is the scene of an explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. 218 killed , several still missing , 7000 Injured after 2,750 Tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. The shelf life of the product is supposed to be 6 months according to experts . After 6 months it starts solidifying and becomes more explodable . President Michel Aoun and PM Diab knew about the Ammonium Nitrate 2 weeks before the explosion but did nothing about it . Judge Fadi Sawan who was initially in charge of the investigation was fired for charging top Lebanese government officials with negligence over the explosion . Judge Tarek Bitar replace Judge Sawan and Hezbollah has since been for months trying to get him fired too for the same reason (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, Beirut, Lebanon(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)

Russia has sent Lebanon the satellite images it has for Beirut’s port before and after a huge explosion rocked it last year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said after talks with his Lebanese counterpart in Moscow on Monday.

Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said last week it agreed to provide the images after a request from Lebanese President Michel Aoun. The blast was the country’s worst peace-time disaster.

“At the request of the Lebanese government, today we handed over materials prepared by Roscosmos… satellite images, and we hope they will help in the investigation of the causes of this incident. This issue is now receiving quite serious attention in Lebanon and we hope it can be closed,” Lavrov told reporters.

The blast, one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions, killed at least 218 people, injured thousands and destroyed swathes of the Lebanese capital on Aug. 4, 2020. The probe still continues.

Abdallah Bou Habib L and Russian counterpart Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hold a joint news conference in Moscow, Russia, November 22, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool

Lavrov added that he and his Lebanese counterpart, Abdallah Bou Habib, also discussed the possible participation of Russian companies in rebuilding infrastructure destroyed in the blast.

Bou Habib thanked Russia for the images , told the media that he will be handing over the file to the judiciary to help it in its investigation stressing he will not hand the file over to the politicians

Lavrov did not name which companies could be involved.