US lawmakers on Friday dropped their opposition to $100 million in new military aid to Lebanon after the Obama administration had given them assurances that the aid would not be hijacked by Hezbollah.
In a related development: After meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on Monday, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced that Moscow would provide the Lebanese Army with helicopter gunships, tanks and munitions, including six MI 24 helicopters, 31 T-72 tanks, 36 cannons of 130 mm caliber, around half a million different munitions for medium-sized weapons, and 30,000 artillery shells - for free.
The Lebanese prime minister highlighted the importance of security and military ties between Russia and Lebanon.
Earlier this year, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman announced that Russia had agreed to a request for Mi-24 helicopter gunships instead of the MIG-29 fighter jets originally promised in 2008. On Sunday, however, Hariri had said he hoped to finalize that deal and said Lebanese helicopter pilots were already training for the new aircraft.
No word yet on whether Mr. Putin had given the Kremlin assurances that the aid would not be hijacked by Hezbollah.... Ahem....
Putin & Obama, like-minded allies, ideological twins - indeed.