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Ethiopia, Russia enter new frontier

It has been a busy diplomatic week as Ethiopia hosted heavyweight diplomats in the capital.

In the shadow of the official visit by the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, to the nation, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, made a working visit highlighting a new partnership with Ethiopia. On areas of trade, nuclear development and academic scholarships for Ethiopians, the minister had a busy two-days in meetings with the leadership of Ethiopia.

The minister comes in less than a year after he signed a memorandum-of-understanding at the International ATOM Expo, to accelerate the atomic energy ambition of Ethiopia.

Both nations had agreed to collaborate in the development of nuclear, radiological and physical security in order to help the nuclear infrastructures of the nation by implementing and supporting common projects. This is to help refurbish the nation’s nuclear technology as a way to help improve the productivity of its industrial, medical and agricultural sectors.

“The plan is moving forward and is to be accelerated once all the intergovernmental agreements are signed and agreed upon,” Lavrov told The Reporter. “We do not expect any delay to move forward with this project.”

Ethiopia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workeneh Gebeyehu (PhD), also announced that the Russian Federation has forgiven outstanding loans of Ethiopia.

 “Lavrov’s visit is aimed at bolstering the 120-year-old cordial bilateral relationships and taking it to the next level,” his spokesperson, Meles Alem said. “The effective implementation of the agreement signed between Ethiopia and Russia will also be reviewed during the visit.”

In passing, Lavrov was wearing a tie with Ethiopian alphabets presented to him by Workneh during his visit to Moscow last year. 

Both Tillerson and Lavrov were said to stay at Sheraton, the only luxury hotel in Ethiopia, where it was rumored they would have a meeting and attempt to solve a slew of issues, including the Syrian crises and Russia’s role in the United States electoral election of 2016, but that did not happen.