Despite Hezbollah’s years of warfare and terror against Israel, Russia does not view the Shi’ite organization as a terror group.
Moscow does not consider the Lebanon-based Hezbollah terror group to be a terrorist organization, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying on Sunday.
“Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization,” Bogdanov reportedly stated.
“They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian territory. Hezbollah was elected by people to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers who are from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It’s a legitimate socio-political force,” the Deputy Minister stated.
Bogdanov also said Russia does not consider the Gaza-based Hamas organization or the Kurdish Democratic Unity Party as terrorist groups.
Hezbollah forces are fighting in the Syrian civil war on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s side, who is also supported by Moscow. Russia has recently sent forces to Syria to boost Assad’s offensive on the war-torn country.
Both Hezbollah and Hamas have for decades sought Israel’s destruction, have fought multiple wars against Israel, and have launched deadly terror attacks on civilian targets.
The United States and European Union classify Hezbollah as having ties to terrorist groups. They also view the group with suspicion because of its close ties to Iran.
As part of an attempt to seek a diplomatic solution for the five-year-long conflict in Syria, Russia is seeking an international agreement on what groups active in the Syrian conflict should be branded as terrorist groups and which can be involved in negotiations for a political settlement, but Moscow’s view differs from that of Washington.
By: United with Israel Staff
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