Russia provides Lebanon with satellite images of Port of Beirut blast
The images from 4 August, 2020 are expected to aid in the investigation into last year's blast which destroyed large swathes of the Lebanese capital
By News Desk - November 22 2021

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov holds a joint news conference with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bou Habib in Moscow, Russia. 22 November, 2021. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina)

On 22 November, following talks with his Lebanese counterpart Abdallah Bouhabib in Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that Russia has provided Lebanon with satellite images of last year’s devastating blast at the Port of Beirut.

The photographs show the Port of Beirut before and after the 4 August 2020 explosion.

“Let’s hope that the Lebanese experts, probably with the help of foreign colleagues, will sort out this issue that has become a serious political irritant for Lebanon,” Lavrov said, adding that Russia “would like to help resolve it as quickly as possible.”

On 17 November, Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that it would provide pictures of Beirut’s port before and after the explosion.

Russia’s assistance comes just as the investigation into the blast has been brought to a standstill for a third time this year, as lead investigative Judge Tarek Bitar has faced opposition for allegedly politicizing the probe by selectively summoning certain officials and omitting others.

The Lebanese foreign minister expressed hopes the photographs will aid in the understanding of how the port blast happened. In a press conference held during his visit to Moscow, Bouhabib said: “We highly appreciate receiving satellite images for the blast at Beirut Port on Aug. 4, 2020, and we will hand them over to the Lebanese judiciary, hoping that can help in revealing the truth of this tragedy that has hit Lebanon.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 21 October that Russia would assist investigators looking into the Port of Beirut Blast.

While Putin refused to “support one party against another,” in the context of hostilities by the US-backed far-right Lebanese Forces (LF) political party against Hezbollah, he did admit at the time that “the Beirut port blast disaster was linked to the desire of some to achieve financial gains.”

Most Popular