Robert Jalil Sursok, a member of a well-known family of Lebanese businessmen and philanthropists, accused the Ukrainian ambassador to Lebanon, Igor Ostash, of exposing a cultural event at the Sursok Museum as a sign of Beirut’s political support for Kyiv. He writes about this on March 24 “RIA News” with reference to an article by Sursock in Al-Akhbar.
On March 14, the museum hosted a meeting dedicated to the work of the poet Agafangel Krymsky, who lived in Lebanon for two years. During the event, a yellow-blue flag appeared on the facade of the museum. The Ukrainian ambassador took advantage of this. He stated that the demonstration of the Ukrainian flag on the facade of a cultural institution is an expression of Lebanon’s solidarity with Kiev.
Robert Jalil Sursok criticized the behavior of the diplomat. According to him, Ostash took advantage of the hospitality of the Sursok family in order to present the event as a political support for Kyiv by Beirut. This is contrary to his family’s position of non-intervention in political affairs and Nicolas Sursock’s will.
He recalled that Nicolas Sursock bequeathed his castle to Beirut and demanded that after his death the object become a free cultural center for Lebanese and all friends of the Lebanese people. Since then, the museum has hosted hundreds of events during which the will was executed without violations. Summing up, Robert Jalil Sursok said that this covenant must be preserved and that he does not believe in the use of cultural heritage for political purposes.
On February 24, the Lebanese Foreign Ministry issued a statement condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine and called on Moscow to immediately stop the special operation in the Donbass. At the same time, the chairman of the Assembly of Russian-Lebanese business circles, Asaad Diya, said that the majority of Lebanese residents oppose this position. On March 19, members of the assembly organized a rally at which speakers expressed solidarity with the position of Russia.
In mid-February, due to the aggravation of the situation in the Donbass as a result of shelling by the Ukrainian military, the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics announced the evacuation of the civilian population to the Russian Federation and asked for recognition of independence. On February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a corresponding decree. On February 24, Russia launched a special operation to protect the civilian population of Donbass.
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