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Russia and Congo strengthening ties – Lavrov

The two countries’ foreign ministers have discussed further developing military-technical cooperation

Russia and the Republic of the Congo will continue their intensive military and military-technical collaboration, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday, after a meeting with his Congolese counterpart Jean-Claude Gakosso. 

During a press conference in Oyo, a city about 400 kilometers north of the capital, Brazzaville, Lavrov confirmed further development of cooperation between the countries, citing remarks made by the Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso.

“President Sassou Nguesso confirmed this. It’s in the interest of the Congo’s defense capabilities,” he noted. 

The Congo’s arsenal includes Soviet- and Russian-made weapons such as armored vehicles, rocket artillery, and helicopters. In May 2019, the Russian and Congolese defense ministries signed a contract to send Russian military specialists to the Congo to train and assist their Congolese counterparts in the operation, maintenance, and repair of previously supplied military equipment and special assets.

Sergey Lavrov also emphasized that the president of the African country understands Russia’s actions in Ukraine, and the republic maintains a “balanced” stance on this issue. “[Denis Sassou Nguesso] advocates for a fair resolution, taking into account, as we always emphasize, the existing realities,” the Russian minister stated.

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Source: Telegram @MariaVladimirovnaZakharova
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In turn, Jean-Claude Gakosso called for negotiations with Ukraine to be conducted with Russia’s participation only. “Peace talks must be held between the two main parties involved in the conflict,” he said.

Gakosso noted that the Congo advocates the resolution of the conflict at the negotiation table.

The Congolese foreign minister also added that countries supplying weapons to Ukraine are pushing the world towards a global conflict. “It seems to me that those who send arms to Ukraine are not advocates of peace. Quite the opposite, they are those who challenge humanity, literally pushing us towards a worldwide conflict,” he stated.

Sergey Lavrov has begun a tour of Africa as Moscow seeks to strengthen relations with countries on the continent. Earlier on Monday, he visited Guinea and was welcomed by the West African nation’s transitional president, Mamady Doumbouya, in the capital, Conakry.

During Lavrov’s last visit to the Congo in July 2022, the countries explored expanding collaboration in the sectors of energy and mineral resources, along with infrastructure development.

June 04, 2024 at 07:32PM

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