Express ☺ your view, expression on this post, via Facebook comment in the below box… (do not forget to tick Also post on facebook option)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

In Lebanon, Russia uses softer touch to win influence - by AFP

In Lebanon, Russia uses softer touch to win influence

ALEY: In a dimly-lit classroom in a Lebanese mountain town, students of all ages pore over Cyrillic workbooks and repeat carefully after their blonde instructor.

`Privet. Kak dela?` `Hello, how are you?` Moscow may have won influence in war-torn Syria through its blistering military intervention, but it is adopting a softer approach in neighbouring Lebanon, where France and the US have held stronger sway.

Whether through cultural outreach, planned business deals or traditional diplomacy, Russia appears to be trying to put down deep roots in the tiny Mediterranean country.

In her classroom at the RussianLebanese Cultural Centre, nestled in the town of Aley, instructor Galina Pavlova says she hopes her native tongue will find more fans among Lebanese, who in addition to Arabic often speak French and English.`We don`t want France and the United States to be the only ones present in Lebanon Russia is a very important country too,` she said.

The Aley centre is one of three new such hubs to have opened in Lebanon this summer alone, established with the backing of Moscow`s embassy in Beirut.

`This expansion falls within the framework of a strategy aiming to strengthen Moscow`s presence in the Middle East,` says Imad Rizk, who heads the Isticharia Centre for Strategic and Communication Studies.

Ties between Moscow and Beirut intensified in the 1950s with the rise of Lebanon`s left, before fading after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

`Lebanon, still strongly associated to the West, is one certainly symbolic piece of [Russia`s] broader desire to remodel the world governance,` says Julien Nocetti, a specialist in Russia`s role in the Middle East.

The aim, he says, is to hasten `the coming of a post-Westworld order`.

`Put down roots` As new cultural centres open, Moscow is also boosting to 60 the number of university scholarships it gives to Lebanese students this year and deepening its economic ties to Beirut.

It nearly doubled the value of its exports to the tiny country from $423 million in 2012 to $770m last year, according to Lebanese customs data.

The two countries are in talks over potentially opening a `green corridor` for Lebanese agricultural exports to Russia.

And Novatek, one of Russia`s largest natural gas producers, is part of a consortium expected to begin exploring for gas off Lebanon`s coast next year.

Lebanon`s top diplomat Gebran Bassil travelled to Moscow recently, encouraging more Russian companies to take part in a new upcoming tender for further exploration.

Beirut is relying on external help to revive its struggling economy, and in April a donor conference raised $11 billion in low-interest loans and aid for the state toimprove basic public services.

`We hope to make the Russians participate in the vast project to modernise Lebanese infrastructure,` says Jacques Sarraf, who heads the Lebanese-Russian Business Council.

In addition, Sarraf says, `Russian businesses intend to put down roots in Lebanon`s north ahead of Syria`s reconstruction`.

But the process is complicated, with both Syrian and Russian firms facing European and American sanctions that have left Lebanese banks `reluctant to deal with their Russian counterparts`, he adds.

Lebanon`s banking sector is already being carefully monitored by the US Treasury, which is seeking to weaken the powerful Iranbacked Hezbollah movement by targeting `suspicious` banking.

Influence through repatriation? Lebanon`s growth has slowed to a crawl in recent years as political divisions have paralysed the government and services have been strained by the arrival of 1.5m Syrian refugees.

Moscow is looking to lend a helping hand there too, launching aninitiative in July to repatriate refugees from around the region.

The proposalhas beenwelcomed by the political class in Lebanon, which hosts some 900,000 refugees who could return to Syria, according to President Michel Aoun, who is close to both Damascus and Hezbollah.

Moscow has also proposed a billion-dollar defence contract to arm Lebanese troops, but Beirut pulled out at the `last minute`, says Sarraf.

Such a deal could have jeopardised the sizeable US support Beirut receives from the US, including the $1.7bn it has received in military aid since 2006.

Aram Nerguizian, co-director of the Carnegie Middle East Center`s department on civil-military relations, says Lebanon`s ties to the US were at stake.

`If Lebanon accepts or even insinuates an intent to accept a Russian credit line for the purchase of Russian defence articles, it will have significant and potentially irreversible geopolitical consequences on Lebanon`s existing bilateral and multilateral commitments and partnerships, especially ties to the US,` he says.-AFP 



Thanks for visiting our website. Like our FB pages and subscribe for daily updates; you can comment on the above post bellow ↓with your Google id or Facebook id – Thank you for your time..☺


Follow us on social media to get instent updates....

|Twitter| |Facebook| |Pinterst| ||

Send your news/prs to us at

Note: The views, comments and opinions expressed on this news story/article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the management of the website. Companies, Political Parties, NGOs can send their PRs to us at

‎لطیفے اور شاعری‎
Facebook group · 8,142 members
Join Group
یہ گروپ آپ سب کے لئے ہے۔ پوسٹ کیجئے اور بحث کیجئے۔۔۔۔۔ اپنی آواز دوسروں تک پہنچائے۔۔۔اور ہاں گروپ کو بڑا کرنے کے لئے اپنے دوستوں کو بھی گروپ میں دعو...

All Categories

Aaj Kamran Khan ke Saath Aamir Liaquat Hussain Aapas ki Bat NajamSethi Abdul Qadir Hassan AchiBaatain Afghanistan Aga Khan University Hospital AirLineJobs Allama Iqbal America Amjad Islam Amjad Anjum Niaz Ansar Abbasi APP Aqwal Zareen Articles Ayat-e-Qurani Ayaz Amir Balochistan Balochistan Jobs Bank of Khyber Banking Best Quotes Biwi Jokes Blogger Tips Chaltay Chaltay by Shaheen Sehbai China Chitral Coca-Cola Coke Studio Columns CookingVideos Corporate News Corruption Crimes Dr Danish ARY Sawal Yeh Hai Dubai E-Books EBM Education Educational Jobs Emirates English #Quotes English Columns EnglishJokes Funny Photos Funny Talk Shows Funny Videos Gilgit-Baltistan Girls Videos Govt Jobs HabibJalibPoetry Hamid Mir Haroon Al-Rashid Hasb-e-Haal with Sohail Ahmed Hassan Nisar Hassan Nisar Meray Mutabaq Hazrat Ali AS Sayings HBL Health HikayatShaikhSaadi Hospital_Jobs Huawei Hum Sab Umeed Say Hain India Information Technology Insurance International News Islam Islamabad Islamic Videos JammuKashmir Javed Chaudhry Jazz Jirga with Salim Safi Jobs Jobs Available Jobs in Karachi Jobs in KPK Jobs in Pak Army Jobs_Sindh JobsInIslamabad Jokes Jubilee Insurance Kal Tak with Javed Chaudhry Karachi Kashmir KhabarNaak On Geo News Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital Khara Sach With Mubashir Lucman Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Lahore Latest MobilePhones Lenovo LG Life Changing Stories LifeStyle Live With Dr. Shahid Masood Live with Talat Hussain Maulana Tariq Jameel MCB Bank Microsoft Mobilink Mujeed ur Rahman Shami Munir Ahmed Baloch Nasir Kazmi Nazir Naji News News Videos NGO Nokia North Korea Nusrat Javed Off The Record (Kashif Abbasi) Off The Record With Kashif Abbasi On The Front Kamran Shahid OPPO Orya Maqbool Jan Pakistan Pakistan Army Pakistan Super League Pashto Song Photos Poetry Political Videos Press Release Prime Time with Rana Mubashir PTCL Punjab Quetta Quotes Rauf Klasra Samsung Sar-e-Aam By Iqrar-ul-Hasan Sardar Jokes Saudi Arabia ShiroShairi Show Biz Sikander Hameed Lodhi Sindh Social Media Sohail Warriach Songs Sports News Stories Syria Takrar Express News Talat Hussain Talk Shows Technology Telecommunication Telenor To the point with Shahzeb Khanzada Tonight with Moeed Pirzada Turkey Tweets of the day Ufone University Jobs Urdu Ghazals Urdu News Urdu Poetry UrduLateefay Video Songs Videos ViVO Wardat SamaaTV WaridTel Wasi Shah Zong اردو خبریں
______________ ☺ _____________ _______________ ♥ ____________________