Russia voiced concerns about the deteriorating economic and social conditions in Lebanon, in light of the resignation of Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri.
“It is a source of concern that during this period, the difficult social and economic situation in the country has only deteriorated,” Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
The diplomat added that Moscow considers the stable and effective work of all branches of power and state institutions in Lebanon as a guarantee for the consolidation of national sovereignty and the country’s territorial integrity.
“We urge the Lebanese themselves to solve all the intractable issues on the domestic political agenda, within the legal framework, through a dialogue in which a broad national consensus is reached, without outside interference,” she added.
On Thursday, the Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri announced his resignation after his failure to form an interim government over the past eight months.
Al-Hariri’s resignation comes after a meeting with President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.
“I withdrew from forming the government,” he told reporters. “Aoun demanded some amendments, which he considered essential, and said we will not be able to reach an understanding with each other… And may God save this country.”
The political deadlock has persisted since Hariri’s reappointment last October, despite diplomatic pressure from France, Saudi Arabia, and the United States. The European Union has threatened to implement sanctions on Lebanese officials.
Hariri proposed on Wednesday a 24-minister government, which according to local media gave Aoun eight ministers, including the defense and foreign ministries.
Hariri has been at odds with Aoun over the size and distribution of a new government. Aoun has accused Hariri’s proposal of lacking Christian representation and dismissing the country’s sectarian-based power-sharing system, while Hariri has accused Aoun of wanting too large of a share in the government.
After resigning in October 2019 following countrywide anti-government protests, Hariri was reappointed a year later, vowing to put together a government that would enact economic reforms.
Since late 2019, Lebanon has struggled with an economic crisis that has pushed more than half its population into poverty and devalued its local currency by about 90 percent.