posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 10:13 AM
In the aftermath of the war between Israel and the Lebanon, many bridges remained destroyed. The U.N has not met its full strength in the region yet,
so Russia has offered a (non-UN controlled) force of Russian combat engineers to rebuild them.
Russia intends to send troops to Lebanon, but not as part of the UN peacekeeping force there and only if all parties in the region agree, President
Vladimir Putin confirmed.
Moscow is prepared to send "a small deployment of engineers to Lebanon," Putin said Saturday after a three-way summit with French President Jacques
Chirac and German Chancellor Angela Merkel north of Paris.
"We don't intend to do this within the UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) framework, but rather within a bilateral framework," he told a joint media
Russia's defence ministry said Thursday there were plans to send 300 military engineers to Lebanon for reconstruction work following the 34-day war in
July and August between Hezbollah and Israel.
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Seeing that the U.N has already a madate for operations within Lebanon, and Russia is a full U.N member and part of the G.8 group, I cannot
understand why President Putin wants his force to remain outside of the UN's mandate.
Could it be that he wants his force to have a more 'flexible' approach to the use of force should conflict erupt again in the area?