Sunday, June 16, 2024
NewsParliament contemplates ratifying military non-disclosure agreement with Russia

Parliament contemplates ratifying military non-disclosure agreement with Russia

Members of the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPR) are weighing the pros and cons of ratifying a military non-disclosure agreement between Ethiopia and Russia.

The Parliament finally laid its hands on the agreement, more than two years after representatives from both governments signed it in Moscow, Russia, on August 24, 2021.

The primary objective of this bilateral agreement is to ensure legal protection for intellectual properties and the outcomes of intellectual activities resulting from their military-technical cooperation.

As per the agreement, neither Ethiopia nor Russia can divulge information or share secrets regarding the intellectual properties and outcomes of intellectual activities owned by the other party with any third state or international organization.

The explanatory document, reviewed by The Reporter, which was submitted to Members of Parliament (MPs), clarifies that Ethiopia is obligated to safeguard intellectual properties acquired through purchase or other means.

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“Regarding trade secrets, it will be prohibited to modernize products and transfer them to a third party without Russia’s approval,” states the document.

The agreement’s explanatory document further emphasizes, “unless there is a written consent from Russia, Ethiopia cannot share any Russian intellectual property with a third party.”

On October 19, 2023, the agreement, along with five others, was presented to the Parliament for review. The House unanimously approved two agreements, which aimed to waive visas for Ethiopian diplomatic passport holders, as well as for South Korea and India.

The remaining four agreements, including the one with Russia, and another with Lebanon concerning the employment of Ethiopian workers, were referred to their respective standing committees after gathering feedback from MPs.

One MP expressed the need for thorough scrutiny of the agreement due to its military nature and the potential for disputes with other countries.

“This is a big agreement, not just giving and receiving grants. So, the standing committee should review it carefully,” the MP stated.

The document presented to the Parliament highlights the significance of this agreement in strengthening the relationship between Ethiopia and Russia.

It states that the agreement will facilitate access to purchase military equipment from Russia and “enhance Russia’s confidence in selling us such equipment.”

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