President Yoweri Museveni has commended his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for supporting Uganda especially in areas of Defence and Security.
Museveni, who is part of dozens of African heads of state and business leaders gathered in Sochi, Russia for a two-day summit designed to bolster relations between the Russian Federation and all 54 African nations, made the remarks on Wednesday.
The inaugural Russia- Africa summit, co-chaired by Presidents Putin and Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is aimed at kickstarting economic, security and political partnerships between Russia and Africa.
Russia may also hope to fill a perceived void left by the United States, whose presence in Africa appears to be waning, according to VoA.
In August 2018, the New York Times reported that the U.S. would begin drawing down troops and scaling back missions throughout Africa.
“Met with President Vladimir Putin, who I commend for hosting the Russia-Africa summit. It was long overdue. It will strengthen trade and bilateral relations between Africa and Russia,” President Museveni said.
“Russia and Africa have historical ties, when we were fighting for freedom, China and Russia supported us. Russia and Uganda are cooperating very well in the areas of Defence and Security. We are working on building workshops for maintenance and overhaul of equipment we get from Russia, like the aircrafts which will greatly reduce costs.”
According to the Museveni – who will serve on a panel examining the security implications of epidemics and disease outbreaks – the two heads of state discussed cooperation between their two countries in the areas of manufacture of human and livestock vaccines, explore space technology, construction, cyber technology and agriculture among others.
Representatives from intergovernmental organizations, including the Southern African Development Community, the African Union Commission and the Organization of African First Ladies for Development, are also in attendance.
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