In March, the Russian government hosted for three days the chairman of the Hezbollah parliamentary group in Lebanon, Mohamed Raad. He was accompanied by Ammar al-Musawi, communications officer for the Party of Allah, and Ahmad Melli, international relations specialist.
Russia no longer perceives the Hezbollah as an organization of the Lebanese Resistance, but as a transnational political party, with a presence in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. This perception is already shared by the West, with the aim, however, of delegitimizing Hezbollah’s military branch.
On the contrary, the Kremlin invited the Party to open a permanent representative office in Moscow. In so doing, Russia conveys its intention to keep a dialogue not only with the political faction, but also and above all with the military component.
Moscow had previously never had any links with the Hezbollah. It had suspended all contacts with Shiite fighters after the kidnapping of four of its diplomats during the Lebanese Civil War, followed by terrible retaliatory measures. The Russian Defense Ministry, which discovered and grew to appreciate the Lebanese Resistance during the Syrian war, has already invited its representatives to speak before its academies several times.
Russia is gradually gaining a foothold in Lebanon where she could lean on the Democratic Party of Prince Talal Arsan and on the Hezbollah. She may negotiate with the United States the withdrawal of Hezbollah from Syria in exchange for Turkey’s pullout.