Ethiopia, Russia Agree to further Cement Bilateral Ties

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Demeke Mekonnen and his Russian counterparts, Sergey Lavrov, held talks on various issues of mutual interest in Addis Ababa.

The Russian Foreign Minister came to Ethiopia on Tuesday for a two-day working visit as part of his African tour aimed at strengthening Moscow’s ties with the continent. 

The ministry of foreign affairs said Lavrov handed over a message sent by President Vladimir Putin to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed during their meeting.

The two foreign ministers also conferred about “various issuers of mutual interest”.

“The two sides have agreed to strengthen their relations in economy, trade, science, and technology, said MoFA in a statement issued after the meeting.

Foreign minister Demeke also briefed his Russian counterpart on current issues in Ethiopia as well as the tripartite talks on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) during the meeting.

Regarding GERD talks, the deputy premier explained Ethiopia’s commitment to abide by principled discussions that pave way for mutual benefits.

Demeke later described his discussion with Lavrov as “fruitful”, saying it reaffirmed that Ethiopia and Russia have shared values and interests in various areas. 

Ethiopia attaches significant importance to the longstanding historical relations with Russia, he said, extending appreciation for Moscow for unwavering support to his country during difficult times.

Foreign minister Lavrov called the Ethio-Russia relationships “delightful and effective,” noting the need to hold a meeting of the joint commission of the two countries. He further stated that Russia would continue to work together with Ethiopia on international and regional issues.

While in Addis Ababa, the Russian foreign minister also held a similar discussion with President Sahle-Work Zewde.

Lavrov highlighted various cooperation areas between the two countries during the meeting, according to the president’s office.  The president, on her part, pointed out the longstanding relationship with their respective countries and the desire to reinforce the bilateral partnership. 

Lavrov concluded his official working visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday afternoon. State Minister of Foreign Affairs Birtukan Ayano and other high-level government officials saw him off at Bole International Airport.