Sergey Lavrov to visit Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, 25 August 2014 (WIC) - The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, is scheduled to visit Ethiopia next month, The Reporter has learnt.

According to sources, Lavrov will come to Addis Ababa for a two-day official visit at the end of September. The foreign minister will be accompanied by a large Russian business delegation and the purpose of the official visit is to strengthen economic and political ties between Ethiopia and Russia.

Lavrov will meet with the President, Dr. Mulatu Teshome, Prime Minister Hailemaraim Desalegn, Foreign Minister Dr Tedros Adhanom and other higher government officials and discuss bilateral issues.

Bilateral agreements are expected to be signed. Sergey Lavrov's visit to Ethiopia will be the second one. He first came to Addis Ababa in 2006.

Russian manufacturing, energy and oil and gas companies executives will be part of the large business delegation. "Russian companies have shown keen interest to engage in the manufacturing, energy, oil and gas exploration sectors," sources said.

Last month a Russian company, GBP Global Resources, signed an oil exploration agreement with the Ministry of Mines. The company plans to prospect for oil and gas in the Afar Regional State.

There are more than 30 Russian companies involved in investments in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia exports agricultural products to Russia. The Ethiopian flower exporters are contemplating to start directly accessing the Russian floriculture market. So far Russians buy Ethiopian flowers from the Netherlands. Ethiopian Airlines is in the process to launch passenger and cargo flights to Moscow.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia and Russia have longstanding historical relations going back to the period of the Russian Czar Machilovich, the father of Peter the Great, in the 17th century. (The Reporter)