Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia

Saturday, 03 March 2018 10:08

On March 5-9, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit a number of African countries, including Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

On March 5, Mr Lavrov will pay a working visit to the Republic of Angola. He is to hold talks with President Joao Lourenco and the country’s Foreign Minister Manuel Augusto.

The officials will conduct an in-depth exchange of views on key issues on the global and regional agendas, and they will focus on measures to counter terrorism and extremism. They will touch on issues of peacekeeping operations in Africa and the search for ways of resolving conflicts in local hotbeds of tension, primarily in the African Great Lakes region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, the Sahara-Sahel zone and Libya. Other issues will include UN reform and maintaining the sustained socioeconomic development of African countries.

In the past few years, trade and economic ties between Russia and Angola have expanded steadily, and this meets the striving of both countries to elevate their partnership to a new qualitative level. Russian business circles are becoming more interested in entering the promising market of this large country. Both countries are expanding cooperation in such areas as the mining sector, geological prospecting, energy, banking, communications and telecommunications. The training of Angolan specialists at Russian universities remains an important part of bilateral cooperation.

We hope that specific options for expanding the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and Angola in various areas will be planned after Mr Lavrov’s visit to Luanda.

On March 5-6, Mr Lavrov will be in the Republic of Namibia. He is to hold talks with President Hage Geingob and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah.

The sides are to discuss a wide range of issues of bilateral relations, as well as international and regional issues. Russia and Namibia maintain a constructive political dialogue based on a close view of global processes and similar approaches towards issues of establishing an equitable world order, the supremacy of international law and the commitment of Moscow and Windhoek to the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states. Both countries have established close cooperation at the UN and other international organizations.

In an effort to invigorate business partnership between the Russian and Namibian business communities, the parties to the upcoming talks will focus on promoting bilateral trade, economic and investment cooperation, including such sectors as mineral production, energy, agriculture and further expanding inter-regional cooperation.

There are plans to discuss opportunities and to expand contact in the humanitarian sphere, including the training of Namibian specialists at Russian universities.

On March 7, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is to hold talks with President of the Republic of Mozambique Filipe Nyusi and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Pacheco.

Mozambique is Russia’s longtime partner on the African continent. We value the friendly relations between our countries that continue to be developed in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual consideration for each other’s interests.

While discussing issues on the bilateral agenda, the parties are to focus on the upcoming initial work of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic and Science and Technological Cooperation. Commission members are to hold their first meeting in April 2018 in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. We attach great importance to this organisation as the driving force for diverse Russia-Mozambique cooperation. We are guided by Maputo’s desire to attract Russian investment and technical assistance, as well as by the interests of Russian business in promoting mutually beneficial projects in Mozambique.

The successful involvement of Rosneft in a tender to prospect for hydrocarbon deposits in Mozambique is a specific example. Business contacts in energy, transport and telecommunications have been established. For example, experts from the International Organisation of Space Communications Intersputnik are studying issues of using the potential of Russian satellites for exchanging data between the two countries’ education agencies and for implementing a project of the company Space Communications to expand Mozambique’s national satellite systems to provide the country with broadband internet access and television broadcasts.

On March 8, Mr Lavrov is to hold talks with President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa and the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Sibusiso Moyo in Harare.

The officials will review the state of bilateral relations and the prospects for further consolidating them with due account for President Mnangagwa’s economic reform policy. We proceed from the interest of Zimbabwe leaders in expanding bilateral trade volumes and Russian investment in Zimbabwe. The Russian-Zimbabwean Commission on Economic, Trade and Science and Technological Cooperation has an important role in this process.

In our opinion, the current Darwendale PGM project to develop one of the world’s largest platinum-group metals deposit can serve as a driving force of bilateral business cooperation with Zimbabwe. The Russian-Zimbabwean joint venture Great Dyke Investment is implementing this project under a bilateral agreement. We note the interest of Russian companies, including Rosgeologiya, KAMAZ, Uralkhim and the Rostselmash Plant for Agricultural Machines, to provide our Zimbabwean partners with the latest technology in areas such as the mining industry and agro-industrial production and to deliver transport systems and specialised equipment to Zimbabwe.

Russia and Zimbabwe boast high coordination levels, based on coinciding or close positions on most issues on the international agenda, in international formats. Harare consistently supports Russian initiatives and candidacies at the UN and other multilateral formats.

During his working visit to Addis Ababa on March 9, Mr Lavrov is to hold talks with Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn Boshe, President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu and Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. He is to meet with Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat at the African Union Headquarters.

There are plans to discuss a wide range of bilateral cooperation issues with the Ethiopian leaders while focusing on trade and economic component, including the implementation of joint energy, nuclear energy, high-tech, science and education projects in Ethiopia.

Opinion exchanges on current international and African issues will focus on expanded foreign policy coordination, including at the UN Security Council (where Ethiopia is a non-permanent member), efforts to counter global challenges and threats, including international terrorism. The sides will focus on the situation in Africa, ways to resolve crises and conflicts, primarily those in the Horn of Africa region.

During a conversation with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, there are plans to discuss the state of political, trade, economic, and cultural-humanitarian relations between Russia and the pan-African organisation. The sides will touch on cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, combating trans-border crime and illegal drug trafficking. They will devote special attention to efforts to resolve crises in a number of African states.

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