President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is in Russia for the second Russia- Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum that begins tomorrow in St. Petersburg.
Museveni is also expected to have a one-on-one side meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a number of issues including investment and trade opportunities between the two countries.
After the Russia forum , President Museveni will head to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, to inaugurate a hub for promoting Uganda’s tourism, trade and investment potential in line with bolstering commercial diplomacy in Eastern Europe.
While Russia is isolated in the West for waging a war in Ukraine, the red carpet was laid out for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during his recent four-nation tour of Africa.
Mr Lavrov’s visit showed that Russia still had the diplomatic muscle to challenge the West for the hearts and minds of African governments, as he visited Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and Congo-Brazzaville.
At a press conference with Mr Lavrov, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni reiterated his position of neutrality over the conflict in Ukraine.
“We don’t believe in being enemies of somebody’s enemy,” he said. For Mr Lavrov, the visit was important to counter claims that Russia is “exporting hunger” to Africa. He blamed sanctions imposed on Russia by Western nations for soaring grain prices.
At Entebbe International Airport, President Museveni was seen off by the Minister for Presidency, Hon. Babirye Milly Babalanda, the Head of Public Service and Secretary to Cabinet, Ms. Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye, the Chief of Defense Forces, Gen. Wilson Mbasu Mbadi, Police Director for Crime Intelligence, AIGP Christopher Ddamulira and the Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons Mr.Samuel Akena.
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