(Photo credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)
During a meeting with Hezbollah’s international relations official on 7 April, the Ukrainian ambassador to Lebanon, Igor Ostach, conveyed the gratitude of Ukraine to the resistance group for remaining neutral in the conflict with Russia.
“Thank you for the position announced by the Secretary General of the party, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in which he denied the presence of any cadres or experts from the party … fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine,” Ostach reportedly told the Hezbollah official.
On 18 March, Hassan Nasrallah dismissed media reports suggesting that the Lebanese resistance movement has deployed fighters and experts to Ukraine to fight alongside Russian troops.
“No one from Hezbollah, neither a fighter nor an expert, has gone to this arena or to any of the arenas in this war,” Nasrallah was quoted as saying by Al Mayadeen TV.
The comments by the Hezbollah leader came in response to claims by the Ukrainian defense ministry saying that a team of 1,000 fighters, made up of members of the Syrian army and Hezbollah, were deployed to fight alongside Russian soldiers near the Donetsk People’s Republic.
However, despite widely publicizing the claims, the ministry failed to produce any evidence of the alleged presence of Syrian or Hezbollah fighters.
Following the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Hassan Nasrallah blamed the US for inciting the conflict by pushing for the expansion of NATO to the Russian border.
“Washington has done everything to push for the current scenario … the US is responsible for what is happening in Ukraine and pushed it in this direction,” the Lebanese resistance leader said in a televised address commemorating slain Hezbollah leader Abbas al-Moussawi.
“The consequences of what is happening in Russia and Ukraine are dangerous to the world, and the situation is open to all possibilities,” he warned before condemning western nations for showing “double standards in their attitudes toward US wars.”
The Hezbollah secretary general went on to say that events in Ukraine should serve as a “lesson” to those who rely on and trust the promises of Washington.