Washington is likely to seek new ways of pressuring Lebanon to weaken the radical Islamist Hezbollah movement, even though its involvement will probably only serve to strengthen the militants, Russian Ambassador to Beirut Alexander Zasypkin said.

“The way Americans think, sanctions must affect Hezbollah, damage it, one way or another. However, they cannot affect it financially, as the party does not have bank accounts. So we are talking about likely harm to those ‘appointed’ as people or organizations involved in Hezbollah’s activity. Occasionally, there are signals about future restrictions against Hezbollah’s political allies,” Zasypkin said.

The ambassador added that the US will probably continue trying to increase the effectiveness of the restrictive measures.

“But, you have to take into account that these attempts will lead to deterioration of the general situation in Lebanon, while Hezbollah’s positions will probably only strengthen,” Zasypkin said.

The United States has been actively imposing sanctions on persons or entities with links to the movement.

Lebanon has been in a political and social turmoil since mid-October when the government of then-Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced tax hikes on internet calls and tobacco in an attempt to salvage a deteriorating economy. On 22 January, a new government, led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, was confirmed to deal with the ongoing political and crisis. The situation has recently taken a turn for the worse after a devastating explosion in Beirut.

‘Lebanon’s Still at Dangerous Edge’

The situation in Lebanon remains challenging, and the decline in the number of anti-government rallies can be explained by the coronavirus pandemic and protesters lacking a reform program, Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin said.

ALSO READ  US soldiers wounded during Russian chase in northeast Syria

“Indeed, the problems have not disappeared, and Lebanon is still at a dangerous edge, and the situation remains negative. The coronavirus has certainly weakened public activity. However, in my opinion, the fact that the protest movement did not offer an agreed program of transformation also played a role,” the diplomat said.

Zasypkin added that most demonstrators stopped going to rallies when provocateurs joined the protests and started rioting and clashing with the police. At the same time, the situation might escalate even more if problems are not resolved, the ambassador said.

He added that the government is trying to resolve the most pressing issues, but is being criticized from all sides because of the complexity of the crisis.

“Even under the threat of collapse of the country, politicians are not able to find common ground. There are attempts to present the crisis in the country solely as a result of the activities of the current government. This approach shows the nature of Lebanon’s problems, which are primarily due to the existence of the confessional system,” the diplomat said.

The large-scale anti-government movement in Lebanon began in October 2019 after the government hiked taxes in a desperate attempt to salvage the sliding economy. The tax proposals have since been repealed but the protests against endemic corruption and mismanagement have continued with varying intensity.

 

Source: Sputnik

Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 2
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    2
    Shares

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Cyriak Papasissis
Master
Commenter
Upvoted
Cyriak Papasissis
2020-08-09 13:11

This interview is out of date, took evidently place before the bombing of Beirut, and therefore is now irrelevant and worthless, since the conditions in Lebanon have changed dramatically. The globalist agent Macron is the spearhead of a frontal effort by the imperialist camp to overthrow the political system in Lebanon, rather than to reform it. They intend to even send troops to Lebanon, probably French, to recreate Lebanon according to the dictates of the globalist center in London. The further aim afield is the whole of Syria, which will be now destabilized from North, East, and West.And South. If… Read more »