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Moscow, Beirut draft documents on Russia's aid to Lebanon

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Moscow and Beirut have started preparing documents on regulations for the presence of Russia's military contingent in Lebanon to help restore ruined infrastructure, a Russian military official said Saturday.
BEIRUT, September 16 (RIA Novosti) - Moscow and Beirut have started preparing documents on regulations for the presence of Russia's military contingent in Lebanon to help restore ruined infrastructure, a Russian military official said Saturday.

Lieutenant General Ivan Tsygankov, the head of the Russian group of military experts, said the group inspected damaged infrastructure in Lebanon and on Friday held a meeting with representatives of Lebanese authorities.

"Yesterday members of the Russian delegation held a meeting with representatives of the Lebanese authorities, which expressed their gratitude to the Russian authorities for the country's participation in the restoration of Lebanon's economy," Tsygankov said.

Before the August 14 ceasefire, Israeli military operations claimed the lives of about 1,000 Lebanese civilians, forced nearly a quarter of the country's population to flee and demolished large parts of the country's infrastructure.

He said the delegation asked the Lebanese authorities to work out documents regulating the presence of the Russian military contingent in Lebanon.

"Proper orders were given in our presence," Tsygankov said.

On Thursday Tsygankov said the Russian contingent will mostly operate in Sayda, 48 km (30 miles) south of Beirut. Most of Lebanon's facilities were destroyed, he added, but Lebanese military officials said bridges are a priority for the country, and proposed that the Russian group consider their restoration.

The group of Russian military experts gauged the extent of the damages to five ruined bridges in Lebanon and Tsygankov said, "We are ready to restore everything that we saw today [on Thursday] within a month."

On Friday Tsygankov said that one or two detachments of guards with small arms will ensure the safety of the Russian contingent in Lebanon. He added the guards will protect the Russian contingent wherever it is deployed, as well as during its transit between sites.

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