Russia doesn't consider Hezbollah a terror group

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister says his country doesn't think Hezbollah is a terror organization, says it has never attacked Russia.

Ben Ariel ,

Hezbollah terrorist with missile
Hezbollah terrorist with missile

Russia does not consider Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Sunday, according to Reuters.

"Some say Hezbollah is a terrorist organization. We maintain contacts and relations with them because we do not consider them a terrorist organization," Bogdanov was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency.

"They have never committed any terrorist acts on Russian territory. Hezbollah was elected by people to the Lebanese parliament. There are cabinet members and ministers who are from Hezbollah in Lebanon. It's a legitimate socio-political force," he added.

The comments came as Russia and other world powers, including the United States, are seeking an international agreement on what groups active in the Syrian conflict should be deemed terrorist and which can be involved in negotiations for a political settlement.

The United States’ position is different than Russia’s, as it considers Hezbollah to be a terrorist organization and has blacklisted some of its senior members.

The group’s “military wing” was blacklisted by the European Union in July of 2013, though the group’s political arm was not.

In 2013, Bahrain became the first Arab country to blacklist Hezbollah. The country cited evidence that Hezbollah was attempting to incite terrorism from abroad.