In order to counteract a significant thaw in relations with the West brought on by its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has intensified its efforts to strengthen commercial links with Africa and wants to host an Africa-Russia conference in St. Petersburg in July.
“During our visit, we will discuss our cooperation in the trade, investment and economic spheres, humanitarian and cultural questions, education, cooperation in the UN and many other issues,” Lavrov told Kenyan lawmakers, according to the Russian foreign ministry.
According to a statement from Kenya’s presidency, the agreement would offer businesses the “necessary impetus” because bilateral commerce with Russia remained relatively low despite its potential. It did not provide a deadline for signing the agreement or provide specifics on what it would include. Kenya now buys primarily grain and fertilizers from Russia.
Lavrov’s visit to Kenya follows that of his Ukrainian colleague, Dmytro Kuleba, who visited the continent last week. In addition to visiting Ethiopia, Morocco, and Rwanda, Foreign Minister Kuleba also had meetings with the leaders of the AU Commission and Comoros and the current AU Chair, Azali Assoumani.
Regarding Ukraine, the statement emphasized Kenya’s support for safeguarding each nation’s territorial integrity, adding: “Kenya calls for a resolution of the conflict in a manner respectful to the two parties.”
After the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit, Mr. Lavrov said, Russia’s relations with the continent have gained fresh momentum. He hailed the 60-year friendship between his nation and Kenya.
He said that bilateral scientific collaboration had increased. On his route to a gathering of the BRIC countries’ foreign and international relations ministers in Cape Town, South Africa, Mr. Lavrov stopped in Nairobi.
Lavrov was en-route to Cape Town, on June 1, according to Kenya’s president, for a summit of the foreign ministers of the BRICS group of rising economies, which includes Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.