Russia has informed Hizbullah that the March 8 forces should resign from the government and form a new cabinet that remains committed to international resolutions if the Shiite party and its allies rejected to fund the international tribunal, diplomatic sources said.
The sources told An Nahar daily published Sunday that Moscow’s stance was announced during a meeting last week between the Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, and a Hizbullah delegation led by MP Mohammed Raad.
The meeting lasted only 40 minutes and not two and a half hours as media reports in Beirut said, the sources stressed.
“The government that includes both Hizbullah and the Free Patriotic Movement should resign, and let a new cabinet that abides by Lebanon’s commitments be formed,” they quoted Bogdanov as telling the delegation when it stressed that the Shiite party and the FPM reject the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
The sources also said that Moscow tasked its ambassador in Beirut, Alexander Zasypkin, to inform Lebanese officials that Lebanon should fulfill its commitments toward the STL that is set to try ex-Premier Rafik Hariri’s suspected assassins.
Zasypkin is relaying to the officials the warning that the U.N. Security Council which has established the tribunal through a resolution would implement sanctions against Lebanon if it fails to fund the STL.
The sources stressed that Russia remains committed to its stance that the court should be allowed to carry out its work under the best circumstances and that the criminals in Hariri’s case and other assassinations should be punished.
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