FM Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister Osman Saleh of Eritrea, Sochi, March 22, 2023

Foreign Ministers of Eritrea and Russia Met in Sochi


Senior Eritrean delegation, composed of Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Presidential Adviser Yemane Ghebreab, met and held talks in Sochi with Mr. Sergei Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.

The two sides conducted friendly and comprehensive discussions spanning bilateral relations as well as regional and global developments.

Regarding bilateral relations, the two sides focused on concrete measures to develop cooperation in the political, diplomatic, economic, cultural, and military and technical cooperation.

Subsequent to their productive talks, the two Foreign Ministers held a joint press conference, which underscored the convergence of views between the two countries.

Foreign Minister Osman Saleh reaffirmed Eritrea’s independent and principled position on the “Ukraine pretext that has sadly sacrificed Ukraine and its people for the purpose of destroying the Russian Federation; just as the Taiwan issue is being foisted as a pretext to bring to a halt China’s peaceful rise by any means necessary, including violent conflict”. – (MOI-Eritrea)

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister Osman Saleh of Eritrea, Sochi, March 22, 2023
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Foreign Minister Osman Saleh of Eritrea, Sochi, March 22, 2023

FM Sergey Lavrov’s Opening Remarks at the talks with FM of Eritrea, Sochi, March 22, 2023

Esteemed Minister Saleh,

My dear Osman,

Colleagues and friends,

It is a pleasure to see you for another coordination of approaches on multilateral and bilateral issues.

Once again, thank you for the hospitality extended to our delegation during our visit to Eritrea three months ago.

The frequency of our contacts is necessary to ensure the implementation of all our plans, both in the trade, economic, humanitarian, military-technical fields, and in our coordination in regional and international affairs, especially at the United Nations.

I look forward to useful (as always) talks and the dialogue of trust that characterizes relations between our leaders and peoples. – (MoFA Russia)

Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Sochi, Russia.
Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend a joint news conference following their meeting in Sochi, Russia.

Russia and Eritrea Keen to Develop Logistics, Security & Mining, Lavrov Says

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov welcomed his colleague from Eritrea, Osman Saleh, in Sochi following his own visit to the country in late January. The talks focused on the full disclosure of the significant potential of economic cooperation.

Russia and Eritrea intend to develop joint projects in a range of key areas, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday.

“We are interested in developing joint promising projects in the areas of transport infrastructure, agricultural production, exploration and mining,” Lavrov said at a joint press conference.

The minister likewise said that during the bilateral negotiations, the interest of Russian companies in entering the Eritrean market was indicated. In turn, the Eritrean side promised to assist representatives of the business circles of both countries to establish direct contacts.

Furthermore, Lavrov said that he had discussed military cooperation with Saleh.

“We talked about cooperation in the military, military-technical sphere, and in general, in the field of security. This is an important aspect of our interaction, given, in particular, the situation in the Horn of Africa region, and the ongoing friction between the countries located in the region,” he elaborated.

In turn, Saleh told reporters that Asmara is determined to develop trade and investment cooperation with Moscow.

“Eritrea and the Russian Federation are determined to develop cooperation in politics, economics, trade and investment,” Saleh said.

Lavrov went on to add that he and his Eritrean counterpart had concretized approaches to developing cooperation in all areas in order to unlock the potential in the economic sphere. The Russian minister also noted that he discussed preparations for the second Russia-Africa Summit, which is scheduled for the end of July in St. Petersburg.

Notably, before the start of the talks, Saleh noted that Eritrea and Russia are “united” in their desire for a world order based on “respect for the sovereignty of states and peoples in accordance with the UN Charter.

Answering questions from the press, the head of the Russian diplomacy commented on the recent unrest during opposition rallies in Kenya, not ruling out the involvement of the West in the events.

“We were concerned about the situation that has developed in the Central African Republic as a result of attacks by extremists on Chinese workers, the murder of nine of these workers. The fact that there were parallel unrest in Kenya does not surprise us either, because our Western colleagues are constantly demanding from African leaders, from leaders of other countries to follow their advice, and those who show some kind of minimal independence receive various provocations from the West. I do not say, but I do not exclude that this was the case this time too,” he said during a press conference following talks with Eritrean Foreign Minister Osman Saleh.

He then reiterated that Moscow does not rule out such course of the events, “because there are situations that develop in the economy, in the social sphere, causing protests, objections from the population,” but noted that “in the overwhelming majority of cases,” the West seeks to either create such situations or use them in its own interests.

On Monday, supporters of former Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who heads the Azimio opposition coalition, took to the streets in Nairobi, the capital. Odinga is demanding that authorities reconsider the results of the August 2022 elections, which he believes he won, as well as lower the cost of living after raising prices for some basic goods.

The Russian minister visited Eritrea at the end of January as part of his African tour, during which, in particular, he discussed preparations for the Russia-Africa summit, as well as bilateral relations.

Before Lavrov’s tour, Eritrean Ambassador to Russia Petros Tseggai, in an interview with RIA Novosti, expressed confidence that cooperation between Moscow and Asmara in the political, economic, and humanitarian spheres would increase, and also stressed that Eritrea intends to deepen cooperation with Moscow in the military-technical field without regard to the West and in the field of geological exploration. – (Sputnik)