President William Ruto’s administration announced on Monday 29th may 2023 that Kenya and Russia will sign a trade agreement with an objective of fostering commercial relations while in Nairobi. This is after receiving Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russia has intensified its efforts to strengthen economic ties with Africa in order to offset its chill relations with the West which has been caused by its invasion of Ukraine. It also plans to have an Africa-Russia Summit in St. Petersburg in July.
President Ruto also said that bilateral commerce with Russia had remained low despite its potential and that the government would offer the ‘’necessary impetus.’’
It however did not provide the specifics on the contents or deadline for signing the agreement. Russia is the current supplier of grain and fertilizers to Kenya.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had visited the continent last week. He visited Morocco, Ethiopia and Rwanda. He also met with the AU Commission and Comoros and the current African Union Chair, Azali Assoumani.
President emphasized Kenya’s support for safeguarding each nation’s territorial integrity. ‘’ Kenya calls for a resolution of the conflict in a manner respectful to the two parties,’’ said president Ruto.
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Russia says that that its reason for invasion is to protect its own security against Ukraine’s pro- Western leadership.
Mr. Lavrov praised the 60-year friendship between Russia and Kenya. President Ruto said that Mr. Lavrov was on his way to Cape Town for a summit of the foreign ministers of the BRICS group of rising economies which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.