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2022.02.12 國際新聞導讀-俄羅斯到底會不會進攻烏克蘭、美國要求公民撤離烏克蘭、真主黨領袖撇清與伊朗關係

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2022.02.12 國際新聞導讀-俄羅斯到底會不會進攻烏克蘭、美國要求公民撤離烏克蘭、真主黨領袖撇清與伊朗關係

如果俄羅斯“進一步”入侵烏克蘭,拜登警告普京將採取“果斷”行動

當天早些時候,美國國防部長勞埃德奧斯汀還與俄羅斯國防部長進行了交談

作者:OMRI NAHMIAS,路透社

發佈時間: 2022-02-12 16:26

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 21:09

美國總統喬·拜登和俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 6 月 16 日在瑞士日內瓦的拉格蘭奇別墅舉行美俄峰會

(圖片來源:REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

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在華盛頓及其盟友警告俄羅斯軍隊隨時可能入侵烏克蘭後,美國總統喬拜登和俄羅斯弗拉基米爾普京周六通電話。

“拜登總統明確表示,如果俄羅斯進一步入侵烏克蘭,美國將與我們的盟國和合作夥伴一起做出果斷反應,並對俄羅斯施加迅速而沉重的代價,”白宮在宣讀電話時說。“拜登總統重申,俄羅斯進一步入侵烏克蘭將造成廣泛的人類苦難,並削弱俄羅斯的地位,”聲明中寫道。

一位高級政府官員後來表示,兩國總統之間的通話“專業而實質性,持續了一個多小時”,但結果“沒有發生根本性的變化”。這位官員表示,“目前尚不清楚俄羅斯是否有興趣通過外交而不是通過使用武力來實現其目標。”

“我們仍然致力於通過外交保持局勢緩和的前景,但鑑於俄羅斯在我們眼前採取的顯而易見的步驟,我們也對此前景保持清醒,”官方繼續。“這樣做的風險太高,不能不給俄羅斯一切機會來避免我們認為將是災難性的行動。”

“我們最近幾天繼續向烏克蘭提供安全援助,我們與歐盟、英國、加拿大和其他夥伴和盟國進行的討論,以確保我們準備立即實施嚴厲的金融制裁和出口管制,也達到了高潮, ”這位官員指出。

俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 12 月 7 日在俄羅斯索契通過視頻鏈接與美國總統喬·拜登舉行會談。(來源:SPUTNIK/SERGEI GUNEEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

這位官員說,兩位總統同意他們的團隊在未來的日子裡繼續參與。“無論如何,俄羅斯可能會決定採取軍事行動。確實,這是一種明顯的可能性。如果它對烏克蘭造成損害,那麼歐洲的安全和對俄羅斯的肯定將是深遠的。這是拜登總統認為我們應該繼續努力避免的結果。”

美國國務院命令其大部分大使館工作人員離開烏克蘭,並在周五呼籲普通公民在 48 小時內離開該國。五角大樓表示將撤出約150名軍事訓練員。

俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近的軍事集結和激增的軍事活動加劇了人們對俄羅斯可能入侵的擔憂。俄羅斯否認有任何此類計劃。

華盛頓週五表示,俄羅斯對烏克蘭的入侵,很可能是從空襲開始,隨時可能發生。

葡萄牙、澳大利亞、新西蘭、德國、意大利、荷蘭等國也敦促本國公民離開烏克蘭。

美國國家安全顧問傑克沙利文表示,如果美國人留在烏克蘭,他們不能指望軍事撤離,應該在 48 小時內離開。

“我們繼續看到俄羅斯升級的跡象,包括新部隊抵達烏克蘭邊境,”沙利文告訴記者。“我們正處於入侵隨時可能開始的窗口期。”

他說:“如果俄羅斯繼續對烏克蘭發動襲擊,很可能首先是空中轟炸和導彈襲擊,這顯然會殺死平民,而不管他們的國籍。”

莫斯科一再對華盛頓對事件的說法提出異議,稱它已在烏克蘭邊境附近集結了超過 100,000 名士兵,以維護自身安全,免受北約盟國的侵略。

俄羅斯外交部表示,俄羅斯最高外交官謝爾蓋·拉夫羅夫在與美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯的電話中指責美國及其盟友對俄羅斯侵略烏克蘭進行“宣傳運動”。

國際文傳電訊社和五角大樓說,俄羅斯國防部長謝爾蓋·紹伊古和他的美國國防部長勞埃德·奧斯汀週六也進行了電話交談。

據國際文傳電訊社報導,同樣在周六,俄羅斯軍方表示,在一艘美國潛艇無視俄羅斯的離開請求後,它已使用“適當手段”讓一艘美國潛艇離開遠東的俄羅斯水域。

據軍方稱,這艘潛艇是在俄羅斯進行海軍演習時在俄羅斯海域的太平洋千島群島附近被發現的。

普京在冷戰後的歐洲爭奪影響力,正在尋求拜登的安全保證,以阻止基輔進入北約和在俄羅斯邊境附近部署導彈。

華盛頓認為其中的許多提議是行不通的,但已推動克里姆林宮與華盛頓及其歐洲盟友共同討論這些提議。

儘管如此,拜登長期以來一直認為,與普京的一對一接觸可能是解決問題的最佳機會。去年 12 月,拜登和普京之間的兩次通話沒有取得任何突破,但為他們的助手之間的外交奠定了基礎。自那以後,兩國領導人一直沒有講話,雙方外交官一直在努力尋找共同點。

俄羅斯、烏克蘭、德國和法國周四在柏林舉行的四方會談沒有取得任何進展。

數千名烏克蘭人周六在基輔集會,在擔心入侵的情況下表示團結,因為烏克蘭領導人告訴人們不要驚慌,並反對他所說的媒體報導的大量悲觀戰爭預測。

儘管如此,四名美國官員告訴路透社,華盛頓計劃在未來幾天內向烏克蘭的西部鄰國波蘭增派 3,000 名士兵,以試圖幫助安撫北約盟國。除此之外,還有 8,500 人已經處於戒備狀態,如果需要,他們將部署到歐洲。

Biden warns Putin on 'decisive' action if Russia 'further' invades Ukraine

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also spoke with his Russian counterpart earlier in the day

By OMRI NAHMIAS, REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 16:26

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 21:09

US President Joe Biden and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021

(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

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US President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Saturday after Washington and its allies warned that Russian forces could invade Ukraine at any moment.

“President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the White House stated in a readout of the call. “President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing,” the statement reads.

A senior administration official later said that the call between the two presidents “was professional and substantive, and lasted a bit over an hour,” but it resulted with “no fundamental change in the dynamic.” According to the official, “it remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing its goals diplomatically as opposed to through the use of force.”

“We remain committed to keeping the prospect of de-escalation through diplomacy alive, but we are also clear-eyed about the prospects of that, given the readily apparent steps Russia is taking on the ground in plain sight right before our eyes,” the official continued. “The stakes of this are too high not to give Russia every chance to avoid an action that we believe would be catastrophic.”

“Our deliveries of security assistance to Ukraine have continued in recent days and our discussions with the EU, U.K., Canadian and other partners and allies to ensure that we are prepared to immediately impose severe financial sanctions and export controls are also reaching a culminating point,” the official noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with US President Joe Biden via a video link in Sochi, Russia, December 7, 2021. (credit: SPUTNIK/SERGEI GUNEEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

The two presidents agreed that their teams remain engaged in the days ahead, the official said. “Russia may decide to proceed with military action anyway. Indeed, that is a distinct possibility. If it does the damage to Ukraine, the European security and yes to Russia will be profound. That is an outcome President Biden believes we should continue to work hard to avert”.

The US State Department ordered most of its embassy staff to leave Ukraine, adding to its call on Friday for private citizens to get out of the country within 48 hours. The Pentagon said it was withdrawing about 150 military trainers.

Russia's military buildup near Ukraine and a surge of military activity has fueled fears that Russia could invade. Russia denies having any such plans.

Washington said on Friday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine, likely beginning with an air assault, could occur at any time.

Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and other countries have also urged their citizens to leave Ukraine.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Americans could not expect military evacuation if they remained in Ukraine and should leave within 48 hours.

"We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border," Sullivan told reporters. "We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time."

"If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality," he said.

Moscow has repeatedly disputed Washington's version of events, saying it has massed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border to maintain its own security against aggression by NATO allies.

In a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russia's top diplomat Sergei Lavrov accused the United States and its allies of waging a "propaganda campaign" about Russian aggression towards Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin also talked by phone on Saturday, Interfax news agency and the Pentagon said.

Also on Saturday, the Russian military said it had used "appropriate means" to make a US submarine depart from Russian waters in the far east after the vessel ignored a Russian request to leave, Interfax news agency reported.

The submarine was detected near the Pacific Kuril islands in Russia's waters as Russia conducted naval exercises, the military was quoted as saying.

Putin, jostling for influence in post-Cold War Europe, is seeking security guarantees from Biden to block Kyiv's entry into NATO and missile deployments near Russia's borders.

Washington regards many of the proposals as non-starters but has pushed the Kremlin to discuss them jointly with Washington and its European allies.

Still, Biden has long believed that one-on-one engagement with Putin may be the best chance at a resolution. Two calls in December between Biden and Putin produced no breakthroughs but set the stage for diplomacy between their aides. The two leaders have not spoken since, and diplomats from both sides have struggled to find common ground.

Four-way talks in Berlin between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on Thursday made no progress.

Several thousand Ukrainians rallied in Kyiv on Saturday to show unity amid fears of an invasion, as Ukraine's leader told people not to panic and pushed back against what he said was a glut of bleak war predictions being reported in the media.

Still, Washington planned to send 3,000 extra troops to Poland, Ukraine's western neighbor, in coming days to try to help reassure NATO allies, four US officials told Reuters. They are in addition to 8,500 already on alert for deployment to Europe if needed.

衛星圖像顯示俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近進行新的軍事部署

俄羅斯正在前蘇聯白俄羅斯舉行聯合軍事演習,並在黑海舉行海軍演習,這是烏克蘭附近軍事活動激增的一部分,加劇了人們對即將到來的入侵的擔憂。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022 年 2 月 11 日 10:13

2021 年 9 月 8 日,烏克蘭頓巴斯地區解放 78 週年,一名激進分子手持俄羅斯國旗,在戰爭紀念建築群 Savur-Mohyla 舉行集會,該建築在最近與烏克蘭政府軍的戰鬥中受損。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

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一家美國私營公司發布的商業衛星圖像顯示,俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近的幾個地點進行了新的軍事部署,這表明莫斯科在一系列旨在緩解危機的外交行動中繼續增兵。

俄羅斯正在前蘇聯白俄羅斯舉行聯合軍事演習,並在黑海舉行海軍演習,這是烏克蘭附近軍事活動激增的一部分,加劇了人們對即將到來的入侵的擔憂。俄羅斯否認有任何攻擊計劃。

數週來一直在跟踪俄羅斯軍隊集結情況的美國 Maxar Technologies 公司表示,週三和周四拍攝的圖像顯示,在被吞併的克里米亞、俄羅斯西部和白俄羅斯的幾個地點進行了重大的新部署。

路透社無法獨立核實這些圖像。

在俄羅斯於 2014 年從烏克蘭吞併的克里米亞,Maxar 表示已確定在辛菲羅波爾市以北的 Oktyabrskoye 機場部署大量新的部隊和裝備,包括 550 個部隊帳篷和數百輛汽車。

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區卡達莫夫斯基山脈南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人在一輛 BMP-3 步兵戰車上。(來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

它說,新的部隊和裝備也抵達克里米亞的Novoozernoye附近,並指出在半島西北海岸的斯拉夫內鎮附近進行了新的部署。

在白俄羅斯,主要聯合演習的地點,Maxar 表示已確定在戈梅利附近的 Zyabrovka 機場部署新的部隊、軍用車輛和直升機,該機場距離烏克蘭邊境不到 25 公里。

在周四晚些時候通過電子郵件發送的一份聲明中,它說,大量部隊和部隊最近抵達俄羅斯西部的庫爾斯克訓練區,該訓練區距離烏克蘭邊境以東約 110 公里。

俄羅斯沒有透露它部署了多少軍隊,並表示它有權在其認為合適的情況下在其領土上調動軍隊。它堅稱它們不會構成外部威脅。

Satellite images show new Russian military deployments near Ukraine

Russia is holding joint military exercises in ex-Soviet Belarus as well as naval drills in the Black Sea, part of a surge of military activity near Ukraine fueling fears of an impending invasion.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 10:13

An activist holds Russia's national flag, during a rally at the war memorial complex Savur-Mohyla, damaged in the recent fighting with Ukraine's government forces,marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Donbas region,Ukraine September 8, 2021.

(photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

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Commercial satellite images published by a private US company show new Russian military deployments at several locations near Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow's force buildup continues amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at easing the crisis.

Russia is holding joint military exercises in ex-Soviet Belarus as well as naval drills in the Black Sea, part of a surge of military activity near Ukraine that has fueled fears of an impending invasion. Russia denies any plans to attack.

US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, said images taken on Wednesday and Thursday showed significant new deployments in several locations in annexed Crimea, western Russia and Belarus.

The images could not be independently verified by Reuters.

In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Maxar said it had identified a large new deployment of troops and equipment at Oktyabrskoye airfield north of the city of Simferopol, including 550 troop tents and hundreds of vehicles.

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

New troops and equipment also arrived near Crimea's Novoozernoye, it said, pointing also to a new deployment near the town of Slavne, on the northwest coast of the peninsula.

In Belarus, the site of major joint drills, Maxar said it had identified a new deployment of troops, military vehicles and helicopters at Zyabrovka airfield near Gomel, less than 25 km from the border with Ukraine.

In a statement sent by email late on Thursday, it said a large deployment of troops and forces had recently arrived at the Kursk training area in western Russia, approximately 110 km to the east of the Ukrainian border.

Russia has not disclosed how many troops it has deployed and says it has the right to move forces around on its territory as it sees fit. It insists they pose no external threat.

烏克蘭政府呼籲在戰爭恐懼中保持冷靜

莫斯科否認入侵計劃,稱它是在捍衛自己的安全利益,免受北約盟國的侵略。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 11:10

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 15:40

2022 年 2 月 12 日,在烏克蘭基輔,人們參加了在與俄羅斯日益緊張的情況下展示愛國精神的團結遊行。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

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烏克蘭政府週六敦促公民保持冷靜和團結,稱由於擔心俄羅斯可能準備入侵,武裝部隊已準備好擊退對該國的任何襲擊。

外交部在一份聲明中說:“現在至關重要的是在國內保持冷靜和團結,避免採取破壞穩定和播下恐慌的行動。”

“烏克蘭武裝部隊不斷監測事態發展,並準備擊退任何侵犯烏克蘭領土完整和主權的行為,”它補充說。

俄羅斯在其與烏克蘭的邊界附近集結了超過 100,000 名士兵,美國周五表示,入侵隨時可能發生。華盛頓還敦促其在烏克蘭的公民盡快離開,英國、日本和澳大利亞等國也響應了這一呼籲。

莫斯科否認入侵計劃,稱它是在捍衛自己的安全利益,免受北約盟國的侵略。

俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 4 月 14 日在俄羅斯莫斯科通過視頻電話會議出席俄羅斯地理學會董事會會議(來源:VIA REUTERS)

美國總統喬·拜登和他的俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京定於週六發表講話。美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯也表示,他將與俄羅斯外長謝爾蓋·拉夫羅夫進行會談。

Ukraine's government calls for calm amid war fears

Moscow denies plans to invade, saying it is defending its own security interests against aggression by NATO allies.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 11:10

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 15:40

People take part in the Unity March, which is a procession to demonstrate their patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 12, 2022.

(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

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The Ukrainian government urged citizens on Saturday to stay calm and united, saying the armed forces are ready to repel any attack on the country amid concern that Russia may be poised to invade.

"It is now critical to remain calm and united within the country, and avoid actions that undermine stability and sow panic," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Ukraine's Armed Forces are constantly monitoring developments and are ready to repel any encroachment on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine," it added.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and the United States said on Friday an invasion could come at any time. Washington also urged its citizens in Ukraine to leave as soon as possible, a call echoed by countries including Britain, Japan and Australia.

Moscow denies plans to invade, saying it is defending its own security interests against aggression by NATO allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were due to speak on Saturday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he would talk to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

俄羅斯現在有足夠的力量來入侵烏克蘭 - 美國

沙利文說,美國情報部門認為,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京可能會在 2 月 20 日北京冬奧會結束前下令入侵。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022-02-11 21:33

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 14:25

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區的卡達莫夫斯基山脈,南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人乘坐 BMP-3 步兵戰車。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

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白宮國家安全顧問傑克沙利文週五表示,俄羅斯現在有足夠的力量對烏克蘭進行大規模軍事行動,旨在奪取該國大部分地區的襲擊“隨時可能開始”。

沙利文在沒有列出具體證據的白宮簡報會上說,任何仍在烏克蘭的美國人都應該在接下來的 24-48 小時內離開。他說,俄羅斯的入侵可能會從空襲開始,這將使撤離變得困難。

沙利文說,美國情報部門認為,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京可能會在 2 月 20 日北京冬奧會結束前下令入侵,並且有可能迅速襲擊烏克蘭首都基輔。

沙利文是在喬·拜登總統在白宮戰情室與跨大西洋領導人進行安全視頻通話並在局勢惡化時尋求盟國團結後發表上述講話的。

沙利文說,目前尚不清楚普京是否已明確下令開始入侵。他說,他預計拜登很快會就這場危機與普京通電話。

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區卡達莫夫斯基山脈南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人在一輛 BMP-3 步兵戰車上。(來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

他說:“我們還沒有看到任何消息告訴我們已經做出了最終決定,已經下達了命令。”

但沙利文表示,在烏克蘭邊境集結了 100,000 名士兵,俄羅斯入侵可能涉及佔領烏克蘭的大部分地區以及包括基輔在內的主要城市。

沙利文說,現在的情報情況與美國用來為 2003 年伊拉克戰爭辯護的情報之間存在“根本區別”,後者是基於被證明是錯誤的大規模殺傷性武器的說法。

然後,美國“在這個講台上使用並部署了情報來發動戰爭。我們正試圖阻止戰爭,阻止戰爭,”他說。

此外,他說,2003 年“這是關於意圖的信息,關於隱藏的東西,看不見的東西。今天我們談論的是在烏克蘭邊境集結的超過 100,000 名俄羅斯軍隊……它遍布社交媒體,它遍布你的新聞網站。所以,你可以相信自己的眼睛。

美國國務卿布林肯還表示,他將於週六與俄羅斯外長拉夫羅夫交談,並補充說,如果俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭,華盛頓及其盟友將迅速實施嚴厲的經濟制裁。

布林肯在斐濟與太平洋領導人會晤時表示,如果俄羅斯真的有興趣通過外交解決烏克蘭危機,華盛頓準備發揮自己的作用。

Russia now has enough forces for Ukraine invasion - US

Sullivan said US intelligence believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 21:33

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 14:25

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022.

(photo credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

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Russia now has enough forces to conduct a major military operation against Ukraine and an assault aimed at seizing large parts of that country could begin "any day now," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday.

Sullivan, speaking at a White House briefing without listing specific evidence, said any American still in Ukraine should leave in the next 24-48 hours. He said a Russian invasion could start with an air assault that would make departures difficult.

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Sullivan said US intelligence believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20 and that a rapid assault on the Ukraine capital Kyiv is a possibility.

Sullivan spoke after President Joe Biden held a secure video call with transatlantic leaders from the White House Situation Room and sought allied unity in the face of a worsening situation.

It remains unclear, Sullivan said, whether Putin has definitively given an order to start an invasion. He said he expects Biden to seek out a phone call with Putin soon on the crisis.

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

"We have not seen anything come to us that says a final decision has been taken, the go-order has been given," he said.

But with 100,000 troops massed on Ukraine's border, Sullivan said a Russian invasion could involve seizure of large sections of Ukraine as well as major cities including Kyiv.

Sullivan said there is a "fundamental distinction" between the intelligence situation now and that which the United States used in justifying the 2003 Iraq war, which was based on claims of weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be wrong.

Then, US "intelligence was used and deployed from this very podium to start a war. We are trying to stop a war, to prevent a war," he said.

Further, he said, in 2003 "it was information about intentions, about hidden things, stuff that couldn't be seen. Today we are talking about more than 100,000 Russian troops amassed along the Ukrainian border… it's all over social media, it's all over your news sites. So, you can believe your own eyes."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he will speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, adding that Washington and its allies would swiftly impose severe economic sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Blinken, speaking from Fiji where he attended a meeting with Pacific leaders, said if Russia was genuinely interested in resolving the Ukraine crisis through diplomacy, Washington was prepared to play its part.

阿富汗央行稱美國凍結資金的計劃是“不公正的”

凍結的資金加上製裁和發展資金的減少使該國的經濟陷入自由落體。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022-02-12 18:48

上個月,在美國軍隊從阿富汗喀布爾的哈米德卡爾扎伊國際機場撤出後的第二天,塔利班部隊站崗。

(圖片來源:路透社)

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阿富汗中央銀行週六批評華盛頓計劃將銀行在美國領土上凍結的 70 億美元資產的一半用於人道主義援助,並將其餘資產擱置一旁,以可能滿足對 2001 年 9 月 11 日襲擊事件的訴訟。

美國政府官員周五表示,他們將努力確保獲得 35 億美元的資產將使阿富汗人民受益,同時呼籲將這筆資金用於解決自去年塔利班掌權以來不斷加深的經濟危機。

官員們說,另一半資金將留在美國,受制於針對塔利班的持續訴訟,包括在 9 月 11 日襲擊事件中遇難者的親屬。

阿富汗銀行(DAB)批評了這一決定,稱其資產按照國際慣例投資於美國,屬於阿富汗人民。

中央銀行在一份聲明中說:“民建聯認為美國關於阻止外匯(外匯)儲備並將其分配給無關目的的最新決定,對阿富汗人民是不公正的。”

021 年 10 月 3 日,阿富汗喀布爾,數名平民在爆炸中喪生,一名塔利班武裝成員站在急診醫院外(圖片來源:JORGE SILVA / REUTERS)

“如果阿富汗的外匯儲備以補償或人道主義援助的名義支付給他人,並希望撤銷決定並釋放阿富汗的所有外匯儲備,(DAB)將永遠不會接受,”它補充說。

自從 8 月份外國軍隊撤離後,塔利班接管該國以來,中央銀行的資金一直被凍結。

凍結的資金加上製裁和發展資金的減少使該國的經濟陷入自由落體,引發了人道主義危機。

Afghan central bank says US plan for frozen funds an 'injustice'

The frozen funding combined with sanctions and a drop off in development funding have sent the country's economy into freefall.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 18:48

TALIBAN FORCES stand guard a day after the US troops withdrawal from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month.

(photo credit: REUTERS)

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Afghanistan's central bank on Saturday criticized Washington's plan to use half the bank's $7 billion in frozen assets on US soil for humanitarian aid and set aside the rest to possibly satisfy lawsuits over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

US administration officials said on Friday they would work to ensure access to $3.5 billion of the assets would benefit the Afghan people, amid calls for the money to be used to address a deepening economic crisis since the Taliban seized power last year.

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The other half of the funds would remain in the United States, subject to ongoing litigation targeting the Taliban, including by relatives of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, the officials said.

Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) criticized the decision, saying its assets had been invested in the United States in line with international practices, and belonged to the people of Afghanistan.

"DAB considers the latest decision of USA on blocking FX (foreign exchange) reserves and allocating them to irrelevant purposes, injustice to the people of Afghanistan," the central bank said in a statement.

An armed member of Taliban forces stands outside an emergency hospital, after several civilians were killed in an explosion, in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 3, 2021 (credit: JORGE SILVA / REUTERS)

"(DAB) will never accept if the FX reserves of Afghanistan is paid under the name of compensation or humanitarian assistance to others and wants the reversal of the decision and release of all FX reserves of Afghanistan," it added.

The central bank funds have been frozen since the Taliban took over the country as foreign forces withdrew in August.

The frozen funding combined with sanctions and a drop off in development funding have sent the country's economy into freefall, unleashing a humanitarian crisis.

納斯魯拉公開將真主黨與伊朗拉開距離

此舉正值真主黨試圖進一步擴大其在黎巴嫩的政治影響力,並試圖反駁海灣國家和黎巴嫩公眾對其是伊朗代理人的指控。

黛比·莫恩布拉特/媒體專線

發佈時間: 2022-02-11 14:10

黎巴嫩真主黨領導人賽義德·哈桑·納斯魯拉在紀念阿修羅的宗教儀式上通過屏幕講話

(圖片來源:AL-MANAR/Handout VIA REUTERS)

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根據真主黨秘書長哈桑·納斯魯拉的說法,如果伊朗和以色列之間爆發戰爭,真主黨可能不會參與其中。

有關 The Media Line 的更多故事,請訪問themedialine.org

據黎巴嫩在線新聞門戶網站 Naharnet 報導,納斯魯拉週二在接受總部位於伊朗的阿拉伯新聞頻道 Al-Alam 新聞網採訪時做出了評估。

分析人士說,這似乎是納斯魯拉試圖公開拉開真主黨和他自己與德黑蘭的距離。

倫敦 Verisk Maplecroft 中東和北非首席分析師 Torbjorn Soltvedt 告訴媒體,納斯魯拉最近的評論突顯了黎巴嫩目前微妙的政治局勢。

更具體地說,索爾特維特說:“納斯魯拉將敏銳地意識到,關於真主黨正在尋求利用當前政治和經濟危機的持續指控需要謹慎處理。”

5 月,真主黨成員在靠近黎巴嫩與以色列邊境的 Kfar Kila 舉著標誌抵抗和解放日的旗幟。(信用:阿齊茲塔赫/路透社)

索爾特維特說,從國內政治的角度來看,如果伊朗和以色列發生衝突,納斯魯拉發出真主黨獨立於德黑蘭的信號是有道理的。

“在與以色列發生衝突的情況下,伊朗不太可能不利用真主黨的導彈能力,但真主黨公開聲明這一點幾乎沒有什麼好處,尤其是在真主黨正在尋找機會擴大其在黎巴嫩的政治影響力的時候更進一步,”索爾特維特補充道。

一家政治風險公司的中東和北非分析師亞當普魯斯對此表示贊同。他告訴媒體熱線,納斯魯拉也可能一直試圖安撫對伊朗對黎巴嫩內部事態發展的影響感到沮喪的社會階層。

“這個國家正處於世界上最嚴重的社會經濟崩潰之一之中;對實際上是一國之內的東西的抵制是不可避免的。即便如此,真主黨現在並將繼續是伊朗的代理人,”他說。

在決定結束為期三個月的黎巴嫩內閣抵制行動後,真主黨再次面臨批評,稱它是在黎巴嫩政治的關鍵時刻效仿伊朗。

然而,黎巴嫩大學歷史與國際關係教授賈馬爾·瓦基姆告訴媒體熱線,伊朗不干涉黎巴嫩事務,因為它不向黎巴嫩政客下達指示和命令。

“真主黨和伊朗之間的關係是宗教和意識形態的,真主黨的決定是由其領導層做出的,”瓦基姆說。

索爾特維特不同意這種評估。“雖然海灣國家將繼續在黎巴嫩政治中發揮作用,但在可預見的未來,伊朗仍將是最具影響力的外部參與者,”他說。

他說,美國和海灣地區對黎巴嫩的壓力採取了經濟和金融制裁的形式,“此外還指示黎巴嫩軍隊和非政府組織開展一場針對真主黨及其盟友的運動”。

索爾特維特認為,這種壓力是由於伊朗對真主黨和黎巴嫩政治的影響,他補充說,“儘管情況仍然如此,但海灣國家可能會謹慎對待黎巴嫩提出的任何財政援助請求。”

普魯斯說,黎巴嫩將繼續在經濟和政治上遭受苦難。“海灣國家向黎巴嫩提供了數百萬美元的財政支持;然而,從他們的角度來看,他們得到的回報很少,伊朗和真主黨只是增加了對這個國家的控制。”

尤其是沙特,通過禁止各種黎巴嫩進口來瞄準該國的經濟。雖然表面上是為了應對毒品走私進入該國,但利雅得意識到這樣的禁令將進一步損害黎巴嫩搖搖欲墜的經濟。

然而,瓦基姆認為,這種情況不會持續太久。

“我相信,在某個時候,地區大國之間會達成協議,這將導致包括真主黨在內的黎巴嫩各方達成協議,當然海灣國家將通過其黎巴嫩盟友保持影響力,”他說.

“黎巴嫩人習慣於外國干涉他們的事務。大多數人不喜歡它,但他們知道要改變這一現實,他們首先需要改變政治制度。但太糟糕了,變革的力量既不團結也不強大,無法做到這一點,”瓦基姆總結道。

Nasrallah publicly distances Hezbollah from Iran

The move comes as Hezbollah attempts to further extend its political influence in Lebanon, and tries to refute accusations by Gulf states and the Lebanese public that it is an Iranian proxy.

By DEBBIE MOHNBLATT/THE MEDIA LINE

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 14:10

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks through a screen during a religious ceremony marking Ashura

(photo credit: AL-MANAR/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

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If war breaks out between Iran and Israel, Hezbollah may not get involved, according to its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

Nasrallah made the assessment on Tuesday during an interview with the Iran-based Arabic news channel Al-Alam News Network, according to the Lebanese online news portal Naharnet.

It appears to be an attempt by Nasrallah to publicly distance Hezbollah, and himself, from Tehran, analysts say.

Torbjorn Soltvedt, principal analyst of the Middle East and North Africa at Verisk Maplecroft in London, told The Media Line that Nasrallah’s recent comments underscore the delicate political situation in Lebanon at the current moment.

More specifically, Soltvedt said, “Nasrallah will be acutely aware that ongoing allegations that Hezbollah is looking to capitalize on the current political and economic crisis needs to be managed carefully.”

HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS hold flags marking Resistance and Liberation Day, in Kfar Kila near the Lebanese border with Israel in May. (credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

Soltvedt said that, from a domestic political standpoint, it makes sense for Nasrallah to signal Hezbollah’s independence from Tehran in the event of a conflict between Iran and Israel.

“It is unlikely that Iran would not draw on Hezbollah’s missile capabilities in the event of a conflict with Israel, but Hezbollah has little to gain from stating this publicly, especially at a time when Hezbollah is eying the opportunity to extend its political influence in Lebanon even further,” Soltvedt added.

Adam Prus, Middle East and North Africa analyst at a political risk firm, agrees. He told The Media Line that Nasrallah also may have been attempting to appease segments of society who are dismayed at Iran's perceived sway over developments within Lebanon.

“The country is in the midst of one of the world's worst socioeconomic collapses; pushback against what is in effect a state within a state is inevitable. Even so, Hezbollah is and will remain an Iranian proxy,” he said.

After the decision to end its three-month boycott of the Lebanese Cabinet boycott, Hezbollah has faced renewed criticism that it is doing Iran’s bidding at a critical time in Lebanese politics.

However, Jamal Wakim, professor of History and International Relations at Lebanese University, told The Media Line that Iran does not interfere in Lebanese affairs in the sense that it does not give instructions and orders to Lebanese politicians.

“The relationship between Hezbollah and Iran is religious and ideological and Hezbollah’s decisions are taken by its leadership,” Wakim said.

Soltvedt disagrees with this assessment. “While the Gulf states will continue to play a part in Lebanese politics, Iran will remain by far the more influential external actor for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The US and Gulf pressures on Lebanon have taken the form of economic and financial sanctions, “in addition to instructions to the Lebanese forces and NGOs to wage a campaign against Hezbollah and their allies,” he said.

Soltvedt believes this pressure is due to the Iranian influence over Hezbollah and Lebanese politics and, he added, “while this remains the case, the Gulf states are likely to approach any requests for financial assistance from Lebanon with caution.”

Prus said that Lebanon will continue to suffer economically and politically. “The Gulf states had given millions to Lebanon in financial support; however, from their perspective, they received very little back, with Iran and Hezbollah only increasing their control over the country.”

The Saudis, in particular, have targeted the country’s economy by banning various Lebanese imports. While ostensibly in response to the smuggling of narcotics into the kingdom, Riyadh is aware that such a ban will further damage Lebanon's faltering economy.

Wakim, however, believes that this situation will not last for much longer.

“I believe that at some point there will be an agreement between the regional powers, and this will result in an agreement between various Lebanese parties, including Hezbollah, and of course the Gulf states will retain their influence through their Lebanese allies,” he said.

“The Lebanese are accustomed to foreign interference in their affairs. Most people do not like it but they know that to change this reality they need first to change the political system. But too bad the forces of change are not united nor strong enough to do this,” Wakim concluded.

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2022.02.12 國際新聞導讀-俄羅斯到底會不會進攻烏克蘭、美國要求公民撤離烏克蘭、真主黨領袖撇清與伊朗關係

如果俄羅斯“進一步”入侵烏克蘭,拜登警告普京將採取“果斷”行動

當天早些時候,美國國防部長勞埃德奧斯汀還與俄羅斯國防部長進行了交談

作者:OMRI NAHMIAS,路透社

發佈時間: 2022-02-12 16:26

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 21:09

美國總統喬·拜登和俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 6 月 16 日在瑞士日內瓦的拉格蘭奇別墅舉行美俄峰會

(圖片來源:REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

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在華盛頓及其盟友警告俄羅斯軍隊隨時可能入侵烏克蘭後,美國總統喬拜登和俄羅斯弗拉基米爾普京周六通電話。

“拜登總統明確表示,如果俄羅斯進一步入侵烏克蘭,美國將與我們的盟國和合作夥伴一起做出果斷反應,並對俄羅斯施加迅速而沉重的代價,”白宮在宣讀電話時說。“拜登總統重申,俄羅斯進一步入侵烏克蘭將造成廣泛的人類苦難,並削弱俄羅斯的地位,”聲明中寫道。

一位高級政府官員後來表示,兩國總統之間的通話“專業而實質性,持續了一個多小時”,但結果“沒有發生根本性的變化”。這位官員表示,“目前尚不清楚俄羅斯是否有興趣通過外交而不是通過使用武力來實現其目標。”

“我們仍然致力於通過外交保持局勢緩和的前景,但鑑於俄羅斯在我們眼前採取的顯而易見的步驟,我們也對此前景保持清醒,”官方繼續。“這樣做的風險太高,不能不給俄羅斯一切機會來避免我們認為將是災難性的行動。”

“我們最近幾天繼續向烏克蘭提供安全援助,我們與歐盟、英國、加拿大和其他夥伴和盟國進行的討論,以確保我們準備立即實施嚴厲的金融制裁和出口管制,也達到了高潮, ”這位官員指出。

俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 12 月 7 日在俄羅斯索契通過視頻鏈接與美國總統喬·拜登舉行會談。(來源:SPUTNIK/SERGEI GUNEEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

這位官員說,兩位總統同意他們的團隊在未來的日子裡繼續參與。“無論如何,俄羅斯可能會決定採取軍事行動。確實,這是一種明顯的可能性。如果它對烏克蘭造成損害,那麼歐洲的安全和對俄羅斯的肯定將是深遠的。這是拜登總統認為我們應該繼續努力避免的結果。”

美國國務院命令其大部分大使館工作人員離開烏克蘭,並在周五呼籲普通公民在 48 小時內離開該國。五角大樓表示將撤出約150名軍事訓練員。

俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近的軍事集結和激增的軍事活動加劇了人們對俄羅斯可能入侵的擔憂。俄羅斯否認有任何此類計劃。

華盛頓週五表示,俄羅斯對烏克蘭的入侵,很可能是從空襲開始,隨時可能發生。

葡萄牙、澳大利亞、新西蘭、德國、意大利、荷蘭等國也敦促本國公民離開烏克蘭。

美國國家安全顧問傑克沙利文表示,如果美國人留在烏克蘭,他們不能指望軍事撤離,應該在 48 小時內離開。

“我們繼續看到俄羅斯升級的跡象,包括新部隊抵達烏克蘭邊境,”沙利文告訴記者。“我們正處於入侵隨時可能開始的窗口期。”

他說:“如果俄羅斯繼續對烏克蘭發動襲擊,很可能首先是空中轟炸和導彈襲擊,這顯然會殺死平民,而不管他們的國籍。”

莫斯科一再對華盛頓對事件的說法提出異議,稱它已在烏克蘭邊境附近集結了超過 100,000 名士兵,以維護自身安全,免受北約盟國的侵略。

俄羅斯外交部表示,俄羅斯最高外交官謝爾蓋·拉夫羅夫在與美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯的電話中指責美國及其盟友對俄羅斯侵略烏克蘭進行“宣傳運動”。

國際文傳電訊社和五角大樓說,俄羅斯國防部長謝爾蓋·紹伊古和他的美國國防部長勞埃德·奧斯汀週六也進行了電話交談。

據國際文傳電訊社報導,同樣在周六,俄羅斯軍方表示,在一艘美國潛艇無視俄羅斯的離開請求後,它已使用“適當手段”讓一艘美國潛艇離開遠東的俄羅斯水域。

據軍方稱,這艘潛艇是在俄羅斯進行海軍演習時在俄羅斯海域的太平洋千島群島附近被發現的。

普京在冷戰後的歐洲爭奪影響力,正在尋求拜登的安全保證,以阻止基輔進入北約和在俄羅斯邊境附近部署導彈。

華盛頓認為其中的許多提議是行不通的,但已推動克里姆林宮與華盛頓及其歐洲盟友共同討論這些提議。

儘管如此,拜登長期以來一直認為,與普京的一對一接觸可能是解決問題的最佳機會。去年 12 月,拜登和普京之間的兩次通話沒有取得任何突破,但為他們的助手之間的外交奠定了基礎。自那以後,兩國領導人一直沒有講話,雙方外交官一直在努力尋找共同點。

俄羅斯、烏克蘭、德國和法國周四在柏林舉行的四方會談沒有取得任何進展。

數千名烏克蘭人周六在基輔集會,在擔心入侵的情況下表示團結,因為烏克蘭領導人告訴人們不要驚慌,並反對他所說的媒體報導的大量悲觀戰爭預測。

儘管如此,四名美國官員告訴路透社,華盛頓計劃在未來幾天內向烏克蘭的西部鄰國波蘭增派 3,000 名士兵,以試圖幫助安撫北約盟國。除此之外,還有 8,500 人已經處於戒備狀態,如果需要,他們將部署到歐洲。

Biden warns Putin on 'decisive' action if Russia 'further' invades Ukraine

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also spoke with his Russian counterpart earlier in the day

By OMRI NAHMIAS, REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 16:26

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 21:09

US President Joe Biden and Russia's President Vladimir Putin meet for the U.S.-Russia summit at Villa La Grange in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021

(photo credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)

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US President Joe Biden and Russia's Vladimir Putin spoke by phone on Saturday after Washington and its allies warned that Russian forces could invade Ukraine at any moment.

“President Biden was clear that, if Russia undertakes a further invasion of Ukraine, the United States together with our Allies and partners will respond decisively and impose swift and severe costs on Russia,” the White House stated in a readout of the call. “President Biden reiterated that a further Russian invasion of Ukraine would produce widespread human suffering and diminish Russia’s standing,” the statement reads.

A senior administration official later said that the call between the two presidents “was professional and substantive, and lasted a bit over an hour,” but it resulted with “no fundamental change in the dynamic.” According to the official, “it remains unclear whether Russia is interested in pursuing its goals diplomatically as opposed to through the use of force.”

“We remain committed to keeping the prospect of de-escalation through diplomacy alive, but we are also clear-eyed about the prospects of that, given the readily apparent steps Russia is taking on the ground in plain sight right before our eyes,” the official continued. “The stakes of this are too high not to give Russia every chance to avoid an action that we believe would be catastrophic.”

“Our deliveries of security assistance to Ukraine have continued in recent days and our discussions with the EU, U.K., Canadian and other partners and allies to ensure that we are prepared to immediately impose severe financial sanctions and export controls are also reaching a culminating point,” the official noted.

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds talks with US President Joe Biden via a video link in Sochi, Russia, December 7, 2021. (credit: SPUTNIK/SERGEI GUNEEV/KREMLIN VIA REUTERS)

The two presidents agreed that their teams remain engaged in the days ahead, the official said. “Russia may decide to proceed with military action anyway. Indeed, that is a distinct possibility. If it does the damage to Ukraine, the European security and yes to Russia will be profound. That is an outcome President Biden believes we should continue to work hard to avert”.

The US State Department ordered most of its embassy staff to leave Ukraine, adding to its call on Friday for private citizens to get out of the country within 48 hours. The Pentagon said it was withdrawing about 150 military trainers.

Russia's military buildup near Ukraine and a surge of military activity has fueled fears that Russia could invade. Russia denies having any such plans.

Washington said on Friday that a Russian invasion of Ukraine, likely beginning with an air assault, could occur at any time.

Portugal, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and other countries have also urged their citizens to leave Ukraine.

US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Americans could not expect military evacuation if they remained in Ukraine and should leave within 48 hours.

"We continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including new forces arriving at the Ukrainian border," Sullivan told reporters. "We are in the window when an invasion could begin at any time."

"If a Russian attack on Ukraine proceeds, it is likely to begin with aerial bombing and missile attacks that could obviously kill civilians without regard to their nationality," he said.

Moscow has repeatedly disputed Washington's version of events, saying it has massed more than 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border to maintain its own security against aggression by NATO allies.

In a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russia's top diplomat Sergei Lavrov accused the United States and its allies of waging a "propaganda campaign" about Russian aggression towards Ukraine, the Russian foreign ministry said.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his US counterpart Lloyd Austin also talked by phone on Saturday, Interfax news agency and the Pentagon said.

Also on Saturday, the Russian military said it had used "appropriate means" to make a US submarine depart from Russian waters in the far east after the vessel ignored a Russian request to leave, Interfax news agency reported.

The submarine was detected near the Pacific Kuril islands in Russia's waters as Russia conducted naval exercises, the military was quoted as saying.

Putin, jostling for influence in post-Cold War Europe, is seeking security guarantees from Biden to block Kyiv's entry into NATO and missile deployments near Russia's borders.

Washington regards many of the proposals as non-starters but has pushed the Kremlin to discuss them jointly with Washington and its European allies.

Still, Biden has long believed that one-on-one engagement with Putin may be the best chance at a resolution. Two calls in December between Biden and Putin produced no breakthroughs but set the stage for diplomacy between their aides. The two leaders have not spoken since, and diplomats from both sides have struggled to find common ground.

Four-way talks in Berlin between Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France on Thursday made no progress.

Several thousand Ukrainians rallied in Kyiv on Saturday to show unity amid fears of an invasion, as Ukraine's leader told people not to panic and pushed back against what he said was a glut of bleak war predictions being reported in the media.

Still, Washington planned to send 3,000 extra troops to Poland, Ukraine's western neighbor, in coming days to try to help reassure NATO allies, four US officials told Reuters. They are in addition to 8,500 already on alert for deployment to Europe if needed.

衛星圖像顯示俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近進行新的軍事部署

俄羅斯正在前蘇聯白俄羅斯舉行聯合軍事演習,並在黑海舉行海軍演習,這是烏克蘭附近軍事活動激增的一部分,加劇了人們對即將到來的入侵的擔憂。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022 年 2 月 11 日 10:13

2021 年 9 月 8 日,烏克蘭頓巴斯地區解放 78 週年,一名激進分子手持俄羅斯國旗,在戰爭紀念建築群 Savur-Mohyla 舉行集會,該建築在最近與烏克蘭政府軍的戰鬥中受損。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

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一家美國私營公司發布的商業衛星圖像顯示,俄羅斯在烏克蘭附近的幾個地點進行了新的軍事部署,這表明莫斯科在一系列旨在緩解危機的外交行動中繼續增兵。

俄羅斯正在前蘇聯白俄羅斯舉行聯合軍事演習,並在黑海舉行海軍演習,這是烏克蘭附近軍事活動激增的一部分,加劇了人們對即將到來的入侵的擔憂。俄羅斯否認有任何攻擊計劃。

數週來一直在跟踪俄羅斯軍隊集結情況的美國 Maxar Technologies 公司表示,週三和周四拍攝的圖像顯示,在被吞併的克里米亞、俄羅斯西部和白俄羅斯的幾個地點進行了重大的新部署。

路透社無法獨立核實這些圖像。

在俄羅斯於 2014 年從烏克蘭吞併的克里米亞,Maxar 表示已確定在辛菲羅波爾市以北的 Oktyabrskoye 機場部署大量新的部隊和裝備,包括 550 個部隊帳篷和數百輛汽車。

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區卡達莫夫斯基山脈南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人在一輛 BMP-3 步兵戰車上。(來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

它說,新的部隊和裝備也抵達克里米亞的Novoozernoye附近,並指出在半島西北海岸的斯拉夫內鎮附近進行了新的部署。

在白俄羅斯,主要聯合演習的地點,Maxar 表示已確定在戈梅利附近的 Zyabrovka 機場部署新的部隊、軍用車輛和直升機,該機場距離烏克蘭邊境不到 25 公里。

在周四晚些時候通過電子郵件發送的一份聲明中,它說,大量部隊和部隊最近抵達俄羅斯西部的庫爾斯克訓練區,該訓練區距離烏克蘭邊境以東約 110 公里。

俄羅斯沒有透露它部署了多少軍隊,並表示它有權在其認為合適的情況下在其領土上調動軍隊。它堅稱它們不會構成外部威脅。

Satellite images show new Russian military deployments near Ukraine

Russia is holding joint military exercises in ex-Soviet Belarus as well as naval drills in the Black Sea, part of a surge of military activity near Ukraine fueling fears of an impending invasion.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 10:13

An activist holds Russia's national flag, during a rally at the war memorial complex Savur-Mohyla, damaged in the recent fighting with Ukraine's government forces,marking the 78th anniversary of the liberation of the Donbas region,Ukraine September 8, 2021.

(photo credit: REUTERS/ALEXANDER ERMOCHENKO)

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Commercial satellite images published by a private US company show new Russian military deployments at several locations near Ukraine, suggesting that Moscow's force buildup continues amid a flurry of diplomacy aimed at easing the crisis.

Russia is holding joint military exercises in ex-Soviet Belarus as well as naval drills in the Black Sea, part of a surge of military activity near Ukraine that has fueled fears of an impending invasion. Russia denies any plans to attack.

US-based Maxar Technologies, which has been tracking the buildup of Russian forces for weeks, said images taken on Wednesday and Thursday showed significant new deployments in several locations in annexed Crimea, western Russia and Belarus.

The images could not be independently verified by Reuters.

In Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, Maxar said it had identified a large new deployment of troops and equipment at Oktyabrskoye airfield north of the city of Simferopol, including 550 troop tents and hundreds of vehicles.

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

New troops and equipment also arrived near Crimea's Novoozernoye, it said, pointing also to a new deployment near the town of Slavne, on the northwest coast of the peninsula.

In Belarus, the site of major joint drills, Maxar said it had identified a new deployment of troops, military vehicles and helicopters at Zyabrovka airfield near Gomel, less than 25 km from the border with Ukraine.

In a statement sent by email late on Thursday, it said a large deployment of troops and forces had recently arrived at the Kursk training area in western Russia, approximately 110 km to the east of the Ukrainian border.

Russia has not disclosed how many troops it has deployed and says it has the right to move forces around on its territory as it sees fit. It insists they pose no external threat.

烏克蘭政府呼籲在戰爭恐懼中保持冷靜

莫斯科否認入侵計劃,稱它是在捍衛自己的安全利益,免受北約盟國的侵略。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 11:10

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 15:40

2022 年 2 月 12 日,在烏克蘭基輔,人們參加了在與俄羅斯日益緊張的情況下展示愛國精神的團結遊行。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

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烏克蘭政府週六敦促公民保持冷靜和團結,稱由於擔心俄羅斯可能準備入侵,武裝部隊已準備好擊退對該國的任何襲擊。

外交部在一份聲明中說:“現在至關重要的是在國內保持冷靜和團結,避免採取破壞穩定和播下恐慌的行動。”

“烏克蘭武裝部隊不斷監測事態發展,並準備擊退任何侵犯烏克蘭領土完整和主權的行為,”它補充說。

俄羅斯在其與烏克蘭的邊界附近集結了超過 100,000 名士兵,美國周五表示,入侵隨時可能發生。華盛頓還敦促其在烏克蘭的公民盡快離開,英國、日本和澳大利亞等國也響應了這一呼籲。

莫斯科否認入侵計劃,稱它是在捍衛自己的安全利益,免受北約盟國的侵略。

俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京於 2021 年 4 月 14 日在俄羅斯莫斯科通過視頻電話會議出席俄羅斯地理學會董事會會議(來源:VIA REUTERS)

美國總統喬·拜登和他的俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京定於週六發表講話。美國國務卿安東尼·布林肯也表示,他將與俄羅斯外長謝爾蓋·拉夫羅夫進行會談。

Ukraine's government calls for calm amid war fears

Moscow denies plans to invade, saying it is defending its own security interests against aggression by NATO allies.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 11:10

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 15:40

People take part in the Unity March, which is a procession to demonstrate their patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia, in Kyiv, Ukraine February 12, 2022.

(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

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The Ukrainian government urged citizens on Saturday to stay calm and united, saying the armed forces are ready to repel any attack on the country amid concern that Russia may be poised to invade.

"It is now critical to remain calm and united within the country, and avoid actions that undermine stability and sow panic," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Ukraine's Armed Forces are constantly monitoring developments and are ready to repel any encroachment on the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine," it added.

Russia has massed more than 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine and the United States said on Friday an invasion could come at any time. Washington also urged its citizens in Ukraine to leave as soon as possible, a call echoed by countries including Britain, Japan and Australia.

Moscow denies plans to invade, saying it is defending its own security interests against aggression by NATO allies.

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the board of trustees of the Russian Geographical Society via a video conference call in Moscow, Russia April 14, 2021 (credit: VIA REUTERS)

US President Joe Biden and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin were due to speak on Saturday. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he would talk to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

俄羅斯現在有足夠的力量來入侵烏克蘭 - 美國

沙利文說,美國情報部門認為,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京可能會在 2 月 20 日北京冬奧會結束前下令入侵。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022-02-11 21:33

更新時間: 2022 年 2 月 12 日 14:25

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區的卡達莫夫斯基山脈,南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人乘坐 BMP-3 步兵戰車。

(圖片來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

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白宮國家安全顧問傑克沙利文週五表示,俄羅斯現在有足夠的力量對烏克蘭進行大規模軍事行動,旨在奪取該國大部分地區的襲擊“隨時可能開始”。

沙利文在沒有列出具體證據的白宮簡報會上說,任何仍在烏克蘭的美國人都應該在接下來的 24-48 小時內離開。他說,俄羅斯的入侵可能會從空襲開始,這將使撤離變得困難。

沙利文說,美國情報部門認為,俄羅斯總統弗拉基米爾·普京可能會在 2 月 20 日北京冬奧會結束前下令入侵,並且有可能迅速襲擊烏克蘭首都基輔。

沙利文是在喬·拜登總統在白宮戰情室與跨大西洋領導人進行安全視頻通話並在局勢惡化時尋求盟國團結後發表上述講話的。

沙利文說,目前尚不清楚普京是否已明確下令開始入侵。他說,他預計拜登很快會就這場危機與普京通電話。

2022 年 2 月 3 日,在俄羅斯羅斯托夫地區卡達莫夫斯基山脈南部軍區武裝部隊舉行的演習中,一名俄羅斯軍人在一輛 BMP-3 步兵戰車上。(來源:REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

他說:“我們還沒有看到任何消息告訴我們已經做出了最終決定,已經下達了命令。”

但沙利文表示,在烏克蘭邊境集結了 100,000 名士兵,俄羅斯入侵可能涉及佔領烏克蘭的大部分地區以及包括基輔在內的主要城市。

沙利文說,現在的情報情況與美國用來為 2003 年伊拉克戰爭辯護的情報之間存在“根本區別”,後者是基於被證明是錯誤的大規模殺傷性武器的說法。

然後,美國“在這個講台上使用並部署了情報來發動戰爭。我們正試圖阻止戰爭,阻止戰爭,”他說。

此外,他說,2003 年“這是關於意圖的信息,關於隱藏的東西,看不見的東西。今天我們談論的是在烏克蘭邊境集結的超過 100,000 名俄羅斯軍隊……它遍布社交媒體,它遍布你的新聞網站。所以,你可以相信自己的眼睛。

美國國務卿布林肯還表示,他將於週六與俄羅斯外長拉夫羅夫交談,並補充說,如果俄羅斯入侵烏克蘭,華盛頓及其盟友將迅速實施嚴厲的經濟制裁。

布林肯在斐濟與太平洋領導人會晤時表示,如果俄羅斯真的有興趣通過外交解決烏克蘭危機,華盛頓準備發揮自己的作用。

Russia now has enough forces for Ukraine invasion - US

Sullivan said US intelligence believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 21:33

Updated: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 14:25

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022.

(photo credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

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Russia now has enough forces to conduct a major military operation against Ukraine and an assault aimed at seizing large parts of that country could begin "any day now," White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Friday.

Sullivan, speaking at a White House briefing without listing specific evidence, said any American still in Ukraine should leave in the next 24-48 hours. He said a Russian invasion could start with an air assault that would make departures difficult.

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Sullivan said US intelligence believes Russian President Vladimir Putin could order an invasion before the end of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on February 20 and that a rapid assault on the Ukraine capital Kyiv is a possibility.

Sullivan spoke after President Joe Biden held a secure video call with transatlantic leaders from the White House Situation Room and sought allied unity in the face of a worsening situation.

It remains unclear, Sullivan said, whether Putin has definitively given an order to start an invasion. He said he expects Biden to seek out a phone call with Putin soon on the crisis.

A Russian service member is seen on a BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle during drills held by the armed forces of the Southern Military District at the Kadamovsky range in the Rostov region, Russia February 3, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SERGEY PIVOVAROV)

"We have not seen anything come to us that says a final decision has been taken, the go-order has been given," he said.

But with 100,000 troops massed on Ukraine's border, Sullivan said a Russian invasion could involve seizure of large sections of Ukraine as well as major cities including Kyiv.

Sullivan said there is a "fundamental distinction" between the intelligence situation now and that which the United States used in justifying the 2003 Iraq war, which was based on claims of weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be wrong.

Then, US "intelligence was used and deployed from this very podium to start a war. We are trying to stop a war, to prevent a war," he said.

Further, he said, in 2003 "it was information about intentions, about hidden things, stuff that couldn't be seen. Today we are talking about more than 100,000 Russian troops amassed along the Ukrainian border… it's all over social media, it's all over your news sites. So, you can believe your own eyes."

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said he will speak to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Saturday, adding that Washington and its allies would swiftly impose severe economic sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine.

Blinken, speaking from Fiji where he attended a meeting with Pacific leaders, said if Russia was genuinely interested in resolving the Ukraine crisis through diplomacy, Washington was prepared to play its part.

阿富汗央行稱美國凍結資金的計劃是“不公正的”

凍結的資金加上製裁和發展資金的減少使該國的經濟陷入自由落體。

路透社_

發佈時間: 2022-02-12 18:48

上個月,在美國軍隊從阿富汗喀布爾的哈米德卡爾扎伊國際機場撤出後的第二天,塔利班部隊站崗。

(圖片來源:路透社)

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阿富汗中央銀行週六批評華盛頓計劃將銀行在美國領土上凍結的 70 億美元資產的一半用於人道主義援助,並將其餘資產擱置一旁,以可能滿足對 2001 年 9 月 11 日襲擊事件的訴訟。

美國政府官員周五表示,他們將努力確保獲得 35 億美元的資產將使阿富汗人民受益,同時呼籲將這筆資金用於解決自去年塔利班掌權以來不斷加深的經濟危機。

官員們說,另一半資金將留在美國,受制於針對塔利班的持續訴訟,包括在 9 月 11 日襲擊事件中遇難者的親屬。

阿富汗銀行(DAB)批評了這一決定,稱其資產按照國際慣例投資於美國,屬於阿富汗人民。

中央銀行在一份聲明中說:“民建聯認為美國關於阻止外匯(外匯)儲備並將其分配給無關目的的最新決定,對阿富汗人民是不公正的。”

021 年 10 月 3 日,阿富汗喀布爾,數名平民在爆炸中喪生,一名塔利班武裝成員站在急診醫院外(圖片來源:JORGE SILVA / REUTERS)

“如果阿富汗的外匯儲備以補償或人道主義援助的名義支付給他人,並希望撤銷決定並釋放阿富汗的所有外匯儲備,(DAB)將永遠不會接受,”它補充說。

自從 8 月份外國軍隊撤離後,塔利班接管該國以來,中央銀行的資金一直被凍結。

凍結的資金加上製裁和發展資金的減少使該國的經濟陷入自由落體,引發了人道主義危機。

Afghan central bank says US plan for frozen funds an 'injustice'

The frozen funding combined with sanctions and a drop off in development funding have sent the country's economy into freefall.

By REUTERS

Published: FEBRUARY 12, 2022 18:48

TALIBAN FORCES stand guard a day after the US troops withdrawal from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month.

(photo credit: REUTERS)

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Afghanistan's central bank on Saturday criticized Washington's plan to use half the bank's $7 billion in frozen assets on US soil for humanitarian aid and set aside the rest to possibly satisfy lawsuits over the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

US administration officials said on Friday they would work to ensure access to $3.5 billion of the assets would benefit the Afghan people, amid calls for the money to be used to address a deepening economic crisis since the Taliban seized power last year.

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The other half of the funds would remain in the United States, subject to ongoing litigation targeting the Taliban, including by relatives of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, the officials said.

Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB) criticized the decision, saying its assets had been invested in the United States in line with international practices, and belonged to the people of Afghanistan.

"DAB considers the latest decision of USA on blocking FX (foreign exchange) reserves and allocating them to irrelevant purposes, injustice to the people of Afghanistan," the central bank said in a statement.

An armed member of Taliban forces stands outside an emergency hospital, after several civilians were killed in an explosion, in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 3, 2021 (credit: JORGE SILVA / REUTERS)

"(DAB) will never accept if the FX reserves of Afghanistan is paid under the name of compensation or humanitarian assistance to others and wants the reversal of the decision and release of all FX reserves of Afghanistan," it added.

The central bank funds have been frozen since the Taliban took over the country as foreign forces withdrew in August.

The frozen funding combined with sanctions and a drop off in development funding have sent the country's economy into freefall, unleashing a humanitarian crisis.

納斯魯拉公開將真主黨與伊朗拉開距離

此舉正值真主黨試圖進一步擴大其在黎巴嫩的政治影響力,並試圖反駁海灣國家和黎巴嫩公眾對其是伊朗代理人的指控。

黛比·莫恩布拉特/媒體專線

發佈時間: 2022-02-11 14:10

黎巴嫩真主黨領導人賽義德·哈桑·納斯魯拉在紀念阿修羅的宗教儀式上通過屏幕講話

(圖片來源:AL-MANAR/Handout VIA REUTERS)

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根據真主黨秘書長哈桑·納斯魯拉的說法,如果伊朗和以色列之間爆發戰爭,真主黨可能不會參與其中。

有關 The Media Line 的更多故事,請訪問themedialine.org

據黎巴嫩在線新聞門戶網站 Naharnet 報導,納斯魯拉週二在接受總部位於伊朗的阿拉伯新聞頻道 Al-Alam 新聞網採訪時做出了評估。

分析人士說,這似乎是納斯魯拉試圖公開拉開真主黨和他自己與德黑蘭的距離。

倫敦 Verisk Maplecroft 中東和北非首席分析師 Torbjorn Soltvedt 告訴媒體,納斯魯拉最近的評論突顯了黎巴嫩目前微妙的政治局勢。

更具體地說,索爾特維特說:“納斯魯拉將敏銳地意識到,關於真主黨正在尋求利用當前政治和經濟危機的持續指控需要謹慎處理。”

5 月,真主黨成員在靠近黎巴嫩與以色列邊境的 Kfar Kila 舉著標誌抵抗和解放日的旗幟。(信用:阿齊茲塔赫/路透社)

索爾特維特說,從國內政治的角度來看,如果伊朗和以色列發生衝突,納斯魯拉發出真主黨獨立於德黑蘭的信號是有道理的。

“在與以色列發生衝突的情況下,伊朗不太可能不利用真主黨的導彈能力,但真主黨公開聲明這一點幾乎沒有什麼好處,尤其是在真主黨正在尋找機會擴大其在黎巴嫩的政治影響力的時候更進一步,”索爾特維特補充道。

一家政治風險公司的中東和北非分析師亞當普魯斯對此表示贊同。他告訴媒體熱線,納斯魯拉也可能一直試圖安撫對伊朗對黎巴嫩內部事態發展的影響感到沮喪的社會階層。

“這個國家正處於世界上最嚴重的社會經濟崩潰之一之中;對實際上是一國之內的東西的抵制是不可避免的。即便如此,真主黨現在並將繼續是伊朗的代理人,”他說。

在決定結束為期三個月的黎巴嫩內閣抵制行動後,真主黨再次面臨批評,稱它是在黎巴嫩政治的關鍵時刻效仿伊朗。

然而,黎巴嫩大學歷史與國際關係教授賈馬爾·瓦基姆告訴媒體熱線,伊朗不干涉黎巴嫩事務,因為它不向黎巴嫩政客下達指示和命令。

“真主黨和伊朗之間的關係是宗教和意識形態的,真主黨的決定是由其領導層做出的,”瓦基姆說。

索爾特維特不同意這種評估。“雖然海灣國家將繼續在黎巴嫩政治中發揮作用,但在可預見的未來,伊朗仍將是最具影響力的外部參與者,”他說。

他說,美國和海灣地區對黎巴嫩的壓力採取了經濟和金融制裁的形式,“此外還指示黎巴嫩軍隊和非政府組織開展一場針對真主黨及其盟友的運動”。

索爾特維特認為,這種壓力是由於伊朗對真主黨和黎巴嫩政治的影響,他補充說,“儘管情況仍然如此,但海灣國家可能會謹慎對待黎巴嫩提出的任何財政援助請求。”

普魯斯說,黎巴嫩將繼續在經濟和政治上遭受苦難。“海灣國家向黎巴嫩提供了數百萬美元的財政支持;然而,從他們的角度來看,他們得到的回報很少,伊朗和真主黨只是增加了對這個國家的控制。”

尤其是沙特,通過禁止各種黎巴嫩進口來瞄準該國的經濟。雖然表面上是為了應對毒品走私進入該國,但利雅得意識到這樣的禁令將進一步損害黎巴嫩搖搖欲墜的經濟。

然而,瓦基姆認為,這種情況不會持續太久。

“我相信,在某個時候,地區大國之間會達成協議,這將導致包括真主黨在內的黎巴嫩各方達成協議,當然海灣國家將通過其黎巴嫩盟友保持影響力,”他說.

“黎巴嫩人習慣於外國干涉他們的事務。大多數人不喜歡它,但他們知道要改變這一現實,他們首先需要改變政治制度。但太糟糕了,變革的力量既不團結也不強大,無法做到這一點,”瓦基姆總結道。

Nasrallah publicly distances Hezbollah from Iran

The move comes as Hezbollah attempts to further extend its political influence in Lebanon, and tries to refute accusations by Gulf states and the Lebanese public that it is an Iranian proxy.

By DEBBIE MOHNBLATT/THE MEDIA LINE

Published: FEBRUARY 11, 2022 14:10

Lebanon's Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah speaks through a screen during a religious ceremony marking Ashura

(photo credit: AL-MANAR/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

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If war breaks out between Iran and Israel, Hezbollah may not get involved, according to its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

For more stories from The Media Line go to themedialine.org

Nasrallah made the assessment on Tuesday during an interview with the Iran-based Arabic news channel Al-Alam News Network, according to the Lebanese online news portal Naharnet.

It appears to be an attempt by Nasrallah to publicly distance Hezbollah, and himself, from Tehran, analysts say.

Torbjorn Soltvedt, principal analyst of the Middle East and North Africa at Verisk Maplecroft in London, told The Media Line that Nasrallah’s recent comments underscore the delicate political situation in Lebanon at the current moment.

More specifically, Soltvedt said, “Nasrallah will be acutely aware that ongoing allegations that Hezbollah is looking to capitalize on the current political and economic crisis needs to be managed carefully.”

HEZBOLLAH MEMBERS hold flags marking Resistance and Liberation Day, in Kfar Kila near the Lebanese border with Israel in May. (credit: AZIZ TAHER/REUTERS)

Soltvedt said that, from a domestic political standpoint, it makes sense for Nasrallah to signal Hezbollah’s independence from Tehran in the event of a conflict between Iran and Israel.

“It is unlikely that Iran would not draw on Hezbollah’s missile capabilities in the event of a conflict with Israel, but Hezbollah has little to gain from stating this publicly, especially at a time when Hezbollah is eying the opportunity to extend its political influence in Lebanon even further,” Soltvedt added.

Adam Prus, Middle East and North Africa analyst at a political risk firm, agrees. He told The Media Line that Nasrallah also may have been attempting to appease segments of society who are dismayed at Iran's perceived sway over developments within Lebanon.

“The country is in the midst of one of the world's worst socioeconomic collapses; pushback against what is in effect a state within a state is inevitable. Even so, Hezbollah is and will remain an Iranian proxy,” he said.

After the decision to end its three-month boycott of the Lebanese Cabinet boycott, Hezbollah has faced renewed criticism that it is doing Iran’s bidding at a critical time in Lebanese politics.

However, Jamal Wakim, professor of History and International Relations at Lebanese University, told The Media Line that Iran does not interfere in Lebanese affairs in the sense that it does not give instructions and orders to Lebanese politicians.

“The relationship between Hezbollah and Iran is religious and ideological and Hezbollah’s decisions are taken by its leadership,” Wakim said.

Soltvedt disagrees with this assessment. “While the Gulf states will continue to play a part in Lebanese politics, Iran will remain by far the more influential external actor for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The US and Gulf pressures on Lebanon have taken the form of economic and financial sanctions, “in addition to instructions to the Lebanese forces and NGOs to wage a campaign against Hezbollah and their allies,” he said.

Soltvedt believes this pressure is due to the Iranian influence over Hezbollah and Lebanese politics and, he added, “while this remains the case, the Gulf states are likely to approach any requests for financial assistance from Lebanon with caution.”

Prus said that Lebanon will continue to suffer economically and politically. “The Gulf states had given millions to Lebanon in financial support; however, from their perspective, they received very little back, with Iran and Hezbollah only increasing their control over the country.”

The Saudis, in particular, have targeted the country’s economy by banning various Lebanese imports. While ostensibly in response to the smuggling of narcotics into the kingdom, Riyadh is aware that such a ban will further damage Lebanon's faltering economy.

Wakim, however, believes that this situation will not last for much longer.

“I believe that at some point there will be an agreement between the regional powers, and this will result in an agreement between various Lebanese parties, including Hezbollah, and of course the Gulf states will retain their influence through their Lebanese allies,” he said.

“The Lebanese are accustomed to foreign interference in their affairs. Most people do not like it but they know that to change this reality they need first to change the political system. But too bad the forces of change are not united nor strong enough to do this,” Wakim concluded.

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