March 4, 2018
Russia is planning to build a nuclear facility and nuclear research institute in Ethiopia, according to a report published today by a pro-government news source, The Ethiopian Reporter, which cited an e-mail communication between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia and Russian minister for foreign affairs, Sergey Lavrov.
However, the report did not give details of what the purpose of the facility will be in the context of Ethiopia or the context within which Russia plans to build the facility in Ethiopia.
The source cited Lavrov as saying that the Horn of Africa has become a region where proliferation and accumulation of weapons are taking place. His remark was given in response to the question he was asked about the military presence of Arab countries in the Horn of Africa. He related increased military presence in the region to terrorism, piracy and drug trafficking in the region.
Lavrov is visiting Ethiopia for a few days as of March 8, according to information from Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. His trip is expected to focus on bilateral relations including trade, economic cooperation, investment and nuclear energy.
The visit happens amid deepening political crisis in the country; a state of emergency (SoE) has already been declared as of February 16, a day after Hailemariam Desalegne resigned as prime minister and chairman of the ruling party. The business of approving the SoE itself turned out to be a politically controversial matter after footages of the vote counting for the motion in the parliament indicated that it was exercised fraudulently.
The two countries are celebrating 120 years of diplomatic relation. During the cold war era, the Soviet Union was a close ally of Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam’s government.
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