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Kenya and Russia to sign bilateral Trade agreement



On his way to Cape Town for a June 1 meeting of foreign ministers of the BRICS group of emerging economies, which comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made a stop over for a quick meeting with President William Ruto in Nairobi, Kenya.
Reports, quoting the president’s office, said their discussions were focused on soliciting support Russia’s war in Ukraine and seek effective ways to boost trade and economic cooperation. Lavrov’s trip to the East African powerhouse comes on the heels of a trip to the continent last week by his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba.
Russian Foreign Ministry has not made any advanced notice about Lavrov’s trip to Africa, but later listed nearly all significant economic sectors under the sun as possible areas for bilateral cooperation. These include trade, investment and economic spheres, humanitarian and cultural questions, education, cooperation in many other issues.
But Kenya’s presidency said in a statement that bilateral trade with Russia was still low despite the potential and the pact would give business the “necessary impetus”. It did not say when the pact might be sealed or give details on what it might encompass. Russia currently sells mostly grain and fertilisers to Kenya.
On Ukraine, the statement reiterated Kenya’s support for respecting the territorial integrity of all countries, adding: “Kenya calls for a resolution of the conflict in a manner respectful to the two parties.”
Kyiv and its Western allies accuse Moscow of waging an unprovoked war of aggression. Western nations have slapped sweeping economic sanctions on Russia, prompting it to forge closer ties with China, India, African nations and others.
Lavrov has visited Africa several times over the past year, as global powers tussle for influence on the continent of 1.3 billion people. In February, twenty two (22) of the African Union’s 54 member states abstained or did not vote on a UN General Assembly resolution that called for Russia withdraw from Ukraine.
Two of them – Eritrea and Mali – voted against the resolution. Russia has ties with African countries that can be traced to the Cold War, when the Soviet Union cast itself as an anti-colonialist defender. Russia has stepped up its drive to boost economic ties with Africa to help offset a big chill in relations with the West prompted by its invasion of Ukraine, and plans to hold second Africa-Russia summit in St Petersburg in July, 2023.
Source:|Kestér Kenn Klomegâh 
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