Inside Museveni – Putin talks; Defence, Space and Agro-Tech top on agenda

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President Yoweri Museveni and Russia's Valdimir Putin shake hands during the Summit in Russia; PPU Photo

SOCHI, RUSSIA: President Yoweri Museveni who is attending the Russia-Africa Summit, today held bilateral talks with the Russian President Valdimir Putin.

Museveni commended President Vladimir Putin for hosting the first Russia-Africa summit saying it was long overdue in strengthening the trade and bilateral relations between Africa and Russia.

The President also hailed the Russian government for reviving the joint permanent commission of cooperation between Uganda and Russia, which he described as cordial.

The bilateral talks were held at the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit at Sirius Park of Science and Art in Sochi, one of Russia’s largest convention venues. The two leaders had initially interacted at the opening ceremony of the summit and later at the bilateral meeting.

“We have already held meetings with China, Turkey, India and Japan but had not yet had one with Russia, yet when we were fighting for freedom, China and Russia supported us. We have been cooperating very well in the areas of Defence and Security by buying good quality Russian equipment including aircrafts. We want to buy more including ammunition. Previously, we have been paying cash but this slows down the supply and affects purchases. We want to pay steadily for fast supply. We are working to building workshops for maintenance and overhaul of the aircrafts, instead of bringing them here which attracts high transport costs,” he said.

The President also urged his Russian counterpart to consider cooperating with Uganda on the issue of vaccines for human and livestock, space technology and cooperation at international fora.

In his remarks, President Putin thanked President Museveni for supporting the joint permanent commission set between Uganda and Russia to further boost the social and economic ties.

He noted that Uganda and Russia should consider cooperating in other areas including in construction, cyber technology, and agriculture.

Emerson Mnangagwa, Yoweri Museveni (c) and Salva Kirr at the opening ceremony of Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia on Wednesday.

Russia hopes that the use of modern technologies as well as partnerships with foreign companies will help take the Africa’s Agro-industrial sector to a new level.

Russia is one of the largest suppliers of agricultural products to African countries today and is ready to further develop this segment.

The summit follows similar meetings between African countries and other developed countries including Turkey, China, India and more recently Japan.

The President is accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Sam Kutesa, Energy and Mineral Development Minister Eng. Irene Muloni, The minister for Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, Senior Presidential Advisor on Defence and Security Lt. Gen. Prescovia Nalweyiso and daughter Diana Museveni Kamuntu.

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