• Tue. Oct 3rd, 2023

Visit by the Russian Foreign Minister to Burundi


Jun 1, 2023

BUJUMBURA June 1st (ABP) – The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr. Sergueï Lavrov, has visited Burundi for a working mission.

Upon landing at Melchior Ndadaye International Airport, he was greeted by his Burundian counterpart, Mr. Albert Shingiro.

The two persons in authority then discussed the situation of bilateral cooperation between Burundi and the Russian Federation.

Mr. Shingiro indicated, during a press conference, that their exchanges were fruitful. They, according to him, reviewed the tangible progress already made, the challenges, and projected themselves into the future for the diversification of the areas of cooperation.

Concretely, Mr. Shingiro, explained that they have prepared the ground for the signing of partnership agreements. Those agreements will be signed in July between Burundi and Russia, during the Russia-Africa Summit to be held in Saint Petersburg, he mentioned. Those agreements will concern the fields of health, education, justice, public service, energy and nuclear energy.

Regarding the conflict in Ukraine, Mr. Shingiro pointed out that Burundi “has taken an abstentionist position, a position of neutrality, of non-alignment, to prevent that conflict from reaching other regions, in particular the African continent”. This is a position displayed by most African countries, said the Burundian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Thus, according to Mr. Shingiro, Burundi proposes to use the various diplomatic tools offered by preventive diplomacy, citing dialogue and negotiation among others. On the guidance of the President of the Republic, Burundi has opted for a political strategy of openness to all countries, taking into account the specificity of each partnership, according to Minister Shingiro.

Minister Lavrov recalled for his part the areas of intervention of Russian cooperation in Burundi. He mentioned health where he noted Russia’s involvement in the fight against infectious diseases, against the proliferation of diseases, by providing the INSP with a state-of-the-art laboratory. At the level of education, he indicated that the quotas of Burundian students evolving in Russia have been revised upwards, but also that Russia has inaugurated the teaching of the Russian language at the University of Burundi.

He also indicated that the two authorities reiterated the need to respect the clauses of the United Nations Charter in terms of joint sovereignty of States; the need to strengthen the Security Council for greater representation of Africa. The Russian Foreign Minister also praised the role played by Burundi at the regional level for the maintenance of peace in the DRC, Sudan and CAR. He said that Russia supports the position of African countries, “African problems, African solutions”. He promised that Russia will take it into account during the deliberations in the United Nations Security Council.

Mr. Lavrov also expressed his appreciation for Burundi’s position on international issues, a balanced and responsible position, according to him.