Russia and Eritrea Keen to Develop Logistics, Security & Mining, Lavrov Says
15:18 GMT 22.03.2023 (Updated: 17:06 GMT 20.04.2023)
© Sputnik / Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) and Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh at a news conference following the meeting in Sochi.
© Sputnik / Press Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation/
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed his colleague from Eritrea, Osman Saleh, in Sochi following his own visit to the country in late January. The talks focused on the full disclosure of the significant potential of economic cooperation.
Russia and Eritrea intend to develop joint projects in a range of key areas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.
"We are interested in developing joint promising projects in the areas of transport infrastructure, agricultural production, exploration and mining," Lavrov said at a joint press conference.
The minister likewise said that during the bilateral negotiations, the interest of Russian companies in entering the Eritrean market was indicated. In turn, the Eritrean side promised to assist representatives of the business circles of both countries to establish direct contacts.
Furthermore, Lavrov said that he had discussed military cooperation with Saleh.
"We talked about cooperation in the military, military-technical sphere, and in general, in the field of security. This is an important aspect of our interaction, given, in particular, the situation in the Horn of Africa region, and the ongoing friction between the countries located in the region," he elaborated.
In turn, Saleh told reporters that Asmara is determined to develop trade and investment cooperation with Moscow.
"Eritrea and the Russian Federation are determined to develop cooperation in politics, economics, trade and investment," Saleh said.
Lavrov went on to add that he and his Eritrean counterpart had concretized approaches to developing cooperation in all areas in order to unlock the potential in the economic sphere. The Russian minister also noted that he discussed preparations for the second Russia-Africa Summit, which is scheduled for the end of July in St. Petersburg.
Notably, before the start of the talks, Saleh noted that Eritrea and Russia are "united" in their desire for a world order based on "respect for the sovereignty of states and peoples in accordance with the UN Charter."
Answering questions from the press, the head of the Russian diplomacy commented on the recent unrest during opposition rallies in Kenya, not ruling out the involvement of the West in the events.
"We were concerned about the situation that has developed in the Central African Republic as a result of attacks by extremists on Chinese workers, the murder of nine of these workers. The fact that there were parallel unrest in Kenya does not surprise us either, because our Western colleagues are constantly demanding from African leaders, from leaders of other countries to follow their advice, and those who show some kind of minimal independence receive various provocations from the West. I do not say, but I do not exclude that this was the case this time too," he said during a press conference following talks with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh.
He then reiterated that Moscow does not rule out such course of the events, "because there are situations that develop in the economy, in the social sphere, causing protests, objections from the population," but noted that "in the overwhelming majority of cases," the West seeks to either create such situations or use them in its own interests.
On Monday, supporters of former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who heads the Azimio opposition coalition, took to the streets in Nairobi, the capital. Odinga is demanding that authorities reconsider the results of the August 2022 elections, which he believes he won, as well as lower the cost of living after raising prices for some basic goods.
The Russian minister visited Eritrea at the end of January as part of his African tour, during which, in particular, he discussed preparations for the Russia-Africa summit, as well as bilateral relations.
Before Lavrov's tour, Eritrean Ambassador to Russia Petros Tseggai, in an interview with RIA Novosti, expressed confidence that cooperation between Moscow and Asmara in the political, economic, and humanitarian spheres would increase, and also stressed that Eritrea intends to deepen cooperation with Moscow in the military-technical field without regard to the West and in the field of geological exploration.
8 January, 09:18 GMT