Speaker Moses Wetang’ula of the Kenyan National Assembly recently hosted Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov during his working visit to the country. Lavrov paid a visit to the Speaker at his office in Parliament Buildings in Nairobi. As part of his visit, Lavrov is also scheduled to meet with President William Ruto and other high-ranking state officials before traveling to South Africa for a BRICS meeting. The BRICS group consists of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Wetang’ula expressed that Kenya and Russia have enjoyed warm and friendly relations since establishing diplomatic ties in 1963. The Speaker took to Twitter to share that they had an extensive discussion on various bilateral, multilateral, and regional issues aimed at strengthening the ties between the two nations. They also discussed Kenya’s participation in the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum, set to take place in July in St. Petersburg. The summit aims to invigorate Russia’s multifaceted relations with African countries and promote a policy of comprehensive and equal partnership with the African people.
Furthermore, Wetang’ula pledged to enhance the relationship between the two parliamentary bodies through exchange programs, sharing experiences, values, and technological advancements. He acknowledged that Kenya is one of Russia’s largest trading partners in Africa, but there is untapped potential for further economic cooperation. Wetang’ula emphasized the need to identify ways to improve bilateral trade, which currently favors Russia. The areas of cooperation discussed during the meeting included education, trade, agriculture, tourism, health, and science and technology.
Russia has been actively seeking to strengthen its ties with African nations in response to isolation and sanctions imposed by Western countries. This visit by Lavrov follows Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba’s recent tour of Africa, during which he urged member states to reconsider their neutrality regarding the Russian war in Ukraine.