Hezbollah rejects Lebanon’s FM condemnation of Russian invasion of Ukraine

Lebanon Ukraine Tensions
Lebanese nationals and Ukrainians who live in Lebanon hold placards and chant slogans during a protest against Moscow’s wide-ranging attack on their country, outside the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. The protest came hours after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
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Lebanese nationals and Ukrainians who live in Lebanon hold placards and chant slogans during a protest against Moscow’s wide-ranging attack on their country, outside the Russian embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. The protest came hours after Russia launched an attack on Ukraine hitting cities and bases with airstrikes or shelling, as civilians piled into trains and cars to flee. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Lebanon’s Iran backed Hezbollah militant movement has rejected a statement issued by the country’s Foreign Ministry condemning Russia’s invasion and on-going military operations in Ukraine.

“Lebanon condemns the invasion of Ukrainian territory and calls on Russia to halt its military operation immediately and withdraw its forces… and return to dialogue and negotiations as a better means of finding a solution,” the ministry stated on Thursday.

However, during Friday’s cabinet session Hezbollah MP and Minister of Labour, Mustafa Bayram, said that the condemnation of Russia’s operations in Ukraine violates the principle of neutrality espoused by the Lebanese authorities and potentially exposes Lebanon to dangerous repercussions as a result.

Another Hezbollah MP  Ibrahim Al-Moussawi took to Twitter and criticised the government who “distance themselves and pretend to be neutral where they want, and they interfere and condemn where they want”, calling on Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib to explain what Lebanon’s foreign policy is.

Hezbollah was created by Iran in 1982 . Iran funds , arms and trains Hezbollah, but Hezbollah which is one of the largest drug dealers in the world also purchase directly some of its arms from Russia like this advanced Russian-made Yakhont strategic naval missiles . Hezbollah acquired 8 in 2017 according Lebanese media reports .

Another Hezbollah MP Hasan Fadlallah also stressed that the ministry’s statement neither reflects the position of the Lebanese people nor the state.

“Why didn’t they wait to discuss this issue at a cabinet session. We find out that many Lebanese sides started to disavow such stance and that the Council of Ministers knew nothing about this statement,” Fadlallah was quoted by Al-Manar.

“Such stances won’t please those whom they are trying to appease,” he added.

In response to ministry’s statement Russia’s embassy in Beirut announced that it was shocked by the announcement.

“The statement… surprised us by violating the policy of dissociation and by taking one side against another in these events, noting that Russia spared no effort in contributing to the advancement and stability of the Lebanese Republic,” a statement said.

File photo : Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) attend a meeting at Moscow’s Kremlin in Moscow, Russia on March 26, 2019 . Aoun was accompanied by his son-in-law Gebran Bassila during the visit [Russian Presidential Press and Information Office – Anadolu Agency]

But according to observers Hezbollah never adhered to Lebanon ‘s policy of dissociation, which addressed mainly the countries surrounding the country like Syria, Yemen, Iraq etc .

Hezbollah violated the dissociation policy when it set its fighters to Syria in 2013 to support Syrian dictator Bashar Al Assad in his fight against the Syrian uprising . Similarly Russia , which has a base in Syria sent its army to Syria to help the Syrian regime in its fight against the Syrian civilians .

Russia never complained about Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, iraq, Yemen and Arab Gulf countries but was quick to criticize Lebanon’s move concerning its invasion of its neighbor .

The invasion of Ukraine left Russia and its strongman , Vladimir Putin completely isolated

MEE/ YL

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