Russia to rebuild former Soviet nuclear research facility in Ethiopia
March 9, 2018
Ethiopia and Russia reach an agreement to develop nuclear energy in Ethiopia collaboratively, says pro-government media outlet, Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
The agreement was reached when Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Sergey Lavrov, held talks with Workneh Gebeyehu today, according to the source.
A memorandum of understanding on Atomic energy cooperation was signed in June 2019.
When asked “What kind of new elements could your visit bring to the cooperation of the two countries?” ahead of his visit to Ethiopia, Lavrov told local Ethiopian Newspaper that “we [Russia] plan to create an Ethiopian center for nuclear science and technologies based on a Russia-designed research reactor”
However, details of the agreement on the nuclear project seem to still a work in progress.
What is known so far is that the plan seems to redevelop former Soviet-built nuclear research center in Ethiopia. When completed the nuclear power station will generate energy for medical facilities, among others.
As well, Fana says bilateral issues with a focus on investment, education, and agriculture, and regional issues are discussed between the two countries.
Lavrov’s visit came amid internal political turmoil in Ethiopia and increased military activity in the Horn of Africa from the Orient and Occident, not to mention the activities of Middle Eastern countries in the region. Turkey has a military position in the region and its own business empire in Ethiopia. Turkey has also a strong presence in Somalia. Other countries in the Middle East have enhanced business and cultural presence in Ethiopia and military presence in the region. For example, United Arab Emirates has more than $10 billion investment in Ethiopia and military presence in Djibouti and allegedly in Eritrea as well. Of course, the US has a military presence in the region for a long time now and is a major funder of the regime in power in Ethiopia. Chinese presence in Ethiopia is mostly economic but has established its military base in Djibouti in recent months.
During the discussion with Workeneh Gebeyehu Lavrov reportedly mentioned that Russia supports Ethiopia in military techniques.
13,000 Ethiopians were given scholarships in the former Soviet Union. Ethio-Russian diplomatic is older than the Soviet Union and the two countries are celebrating 120 years of 120 years of diplomatic relation.
After completing discussion with his Ethiopian counterpart, Lavrov met with African Union leadership in African Union where he pledged that Russia would support a permanent African position at the United Nations security council.
Although Sergey Lavrov and the United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, were staying in the same luxury hotel, Sheraton Addis, they failed to make time to meet, apparently due to lack of interest on the part of Rex Tillerson.
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