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Moscow plans greater engagement in Ethiopia’s energy development

*The Minister of foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov and Minister of foreign Affairs of Ethiopia Workneh, Gebeyehu.

11 March 2018, Addis Ababa — Russia seeks to enhance engagement in the development of nuclear energy facility in Ethiopia and resume daily flight from Addis Ababa to Moscow as part cementing the growing ties between the two countries.

Moscow also canceled Ethiopia’s debt worth around 162 million USD.

This was highlighted as Ethiopian Foreign Minister Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu yesterday held a discussion with visiting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov followed by a joint press conference with local and foreign journalists.

“Russia sees huge opportunities to elevate its cooperation with Ethiopia at bilateral regional and international levels. And it is also desirous to serve additional boost to Ethiopia’s infrastructural development such as hydropower, energy, and others,” said Lavrov.

These times talks are underway on establishing nuclear technology center on the existing Russian design research reactor. The work is progressing and will be accelerated once the inter-governmental agreement is signed.

Both countries also agreed to work in the area of high tech, science and education developments with Moscow pledging to award more scholarship for Ethiopian diplomats and students for advanced skills training.

Both Russia and Ethiopia advocate the importance of historical and cultural values and respect for the right of individual country’s sovereignty. The two countries believe on a peaceful solution to all conflicts without the interference of external powers but through inclusive dialogue. The two countries act in their issues of concern within the international platform. In this regard, working within the United Nations Security Council, Moscow would make political support to resolve conflicts and crisis in Africa in search of peaceful means.

Addis Ababa and Moscow reaffirm the need to find a political solution to ensure peace and stability and resolve the crisis. Russia would support African solution for African conflicts, he added.

For his part, Dr. Workneh said that Ethiopia recognizes Russia’s strong principle of respecting the territorial integrity and independence of other nations.

Lavrov’s visit is a reflection of an outstanding and longstanding relationship between the two countries, he noted.

The Minister also said that both countries have agreed to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purpose, promote people to people relations and boost economic partnership. The Russian trained scholars will serve as diplomats to bolster the partnership.

Meanwhile, the visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has discussed ways of furthering the historical relations of the two countries with President Dr. Mulatu Teshome at the National Palace.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Meles Alem briefed journalists that both sides have discussed ways of strengthening the Ethio-Russian diplomatic ties in the areas of agriculture, mining, culture, education, and tourism.

Furthermore, he mentioned that Russia aspires to build an African Center of Excellence and nuclear power in Ethiopia for peaceful purposes. “This is the good gesture of the long-standing relations.”

Concerning the current Ethiopian political situation, Lavrov said; it is the exclusive issue of Ethiopians to come up with solutions to their problems and added Russia appreciates the efforts of the Ethiopian government to ensure peace in Africa.

Lavrov has on the occasion submitted a message of President Vladimir Putin to President Dr. Mulatu, Meles noted.

The two countries are currently celebrating the 120th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the Ethiopian Herald learnt. Meanwhile, Ethiopian News Agency (ENA) reported that Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov have discussed on ways of boosting bilateral cooperation in various fields.

They discussed on the need to bolster cooperation in the education sector through scholarships and consolidating partnership among institutions of higher learning in the two countries.

Noting that Russian investment in Ethiopia has not grown to the desired level, they agreed on the need to encourage Russian business community to come to Ethiopia.

They also discussed on ways of boosting cooperation on international issues based on the national interest of the two countries, according to the information revealed by the Office of the Prime Minister.

*Desta Gebrehiwot and Haftu Gebregzabiher – The Ethiopian Herald

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