The Cradle
Russian Space Agency to provide Lebanon with satellite images of Beirut Port blast
The Lebanese government also asked the US and France for satellite images but both nations dismissed Beirut's request
By News Desk - November 17 2021
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The aftermath of the Port of Beirut explosion on 4 August 2020.

On 17 November, the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos announced that it will provide Lebanon with detailed satellite images of Beirut Port before and after last year’s catastrophic explosion.

According to Al-Mayadeen, the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said: “Today, I signed a document with a detailed annex, at the request of the Lebanese presidency, regarding the explosion that occurred in the Port of Beirut.”

Last month, Lebanese President Michel Aoun made a request to Russian ambassador Alexander Rudakov for satellite images from the explosion on 4 August 2020, which devastated large swathes of Beirut and killed over 200 people.

But while Lebanese authorities made the same request to both the US and France, the two western states dismissed Lebanon’s demand.

The detailed information will arrive in Lebanon at a time when tensions over the blast investigation are at an all-time high, as Judge Tarik Bitar was recently forced to suspend his investigation for a third time due to accusations he has politicized the probe.

According to an in-depth investigation by The Cradle, since taking over the blast probe, Bitar has used his post to target political figures critical of the US while giving a free pass to officials friendly with the US embassy.

The Roscosmos announcement comes on the same day that Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced that Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bouhabib will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on 22 November.

“From November 20 to 23, Lebanon’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants will be in Moscow on a working visit; and on the day of November 22, when Lebanon celebrates its national Independence Day, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with him,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.