The head of Hizbullah’s Loyalty to Resistance bloc, MP Mohammed Raad, met Monday in Moscow with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
“The meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was a meeting between friends and the atmosphere of the discussions was frank,” Raad said after the talks.
“We discussed the situations in the region and Lebanon, and means to consolidate stability and strengthen the achievements that were made through combating terrorism in Syria and Lebanon,” Raad added.
Talks also explored “what Russia can do to support friendly peoples in the region, especially in Lebanon,” the top Hizbullah lawmaker went on to say.
He also discussed with Lavrov “the governmental situation in Lebanon and Hizbullah’s keenness on the need to speed up the government’s formation in a manner that reflects the Lebanese people’s will.”
“This is the key to stability and the start of solutions,” Raad added.
A Hizbullah delegation led by Raad had arrived overnight in the Russian capital, following an invitation from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
The delegation met with Lebanese Ambassador to Russia Shawqi Bou Nassar upon its arrival in Moscow.
The delegation comprises the party’s Arab and international relations officer Ammar al-Moussawi, his aide for international affairs Ahmed Mehani and the media advisor Ahmed Hajj Ali.
The three-day visit will involve meetings at the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Russian parliament and other political and press meetings.
The visit by the four-member Hizbullah delegation comes as Lebanon is mired in its worst economic crisis in decades and stuck in political stalemate over the formation of a new Cabinet.
Russia and Iran-backed Hizbullah joined Syria’s conflict fighting alongside President Bashar Assad’s forces and helped tip the balance of power in his favor.
Russia has recently been more active in dealing with Lebanon and Lavrov last week during his visit to the United Arab Emirates met with Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.
Lebanon’s worst economic and financial crisis began in late 2019 and was made worse by the pandemic and a massive blast at Beirut’s port in August that killed dozens and wounded thousands.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government resigned six days after the Aug. 4, blast of nearly 3,000 tons of ammonium nitrate, a highly explosive material used in fertilizer, that killed 211, wounded more than 6,000 and damaged entire neighborhoods.
Hariri was chosen to form a new Cabinet in late October but so far political bickering and disagreements between him and President Michel Aoun have delayed the formation.
On Monday, the local currency hit a new record low, with the dollar selling for 13,200 pounds. Since the middle of last week, the currency has been hitting record lows almost every day, triggering protests and road closures.
The international community has said it will not give Lebanon financial assistance before major reforms are implemented to fight widespread corruption in the tiny country.