Russia, Rwanda commit to reinforcing existing diplomatic ties

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 13 June 2023 at 01:43

The Ambassador of Russia to Rwanda, Karen Chalyan, has said that both countries continue to enjoy vibrant diplomatic relations with aspirations to deepen them further.

He made the disclosure on Monday 12th June 2023 during celebrations of “Russia Day” in Kigali.

Amb. Chalyan stated that the past 20 years have seen a gradual and measured progress of multifaceted relations with Rwanda, especially in the fields of political support and dialogue, training of personnel, defence, digital technology and nuclear energy.

“For example, this academic year the number of Government scholarships, offered to Rwanda, increased twofold. Together we have made the first good steps in revitalizing our cooperation in the field of medicine, and in particular biomedical research,” he noted.

Amb. Chalyan affirmed that both countries are continuously expanding political dialogue and humanitarian interaction observing that there is much room for growth and improvement, for the increase in the potential of bilateral cooperation, which both countries possess, including in the field of interaction between private businesses.

Amb. Chalyan said that Rwanda-Russia cooperation in international affairs is strong and growing where both countries share the same belief that there is no alternative to international law and the principles of the United Nations (UN) Charter which must be applied without double standards.

He also highlighted that Russia and Rwanda share opinions on most issues of the UN agenda and cooperate on the agenda related to African issues in the UN Security Council.

“Russia maintains a high opinion of Rwanda’s efforts to bring peace to areas beset by strife and conflict. As an old UN peacekeeper myself, I can only echo my Government’s appreciation of the Rwandans military and police contingent’s excellent work in the Central African Republic, South Sudan and the Cabo-Delgado province of Mozambique,” said Amb. Chalyan.

Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Vincent Biruta said that diplomatic relations established between both countries 60 years ago experienced remarkable growth and vitality particularly in the past five years , marked by high level visits from both sides.

He also stated that both countries share a long and fruitful history of cooperation that was recently deepened in the areas of education, energy, peace and security.

“In the field of education, Russia has been a long-standing partner of Rwanda. Russian universities and higher education institutions have welcomed thousands of Rwandan students who have played significant roles in Rwanda’s development,” remarked Dr. Biruta.

He also expressed delight for current developments where the Russian Federation is set to offer free online Russian language courses to Rwandan students.

To this end, Dr. Biruta disclosed that Rwanda Higher Education Council and the University of Rwanda are actively working together to provide suitable facilities for interested candidates in Rwanda.

Among others, he said that Rwanda is delighted to engage in bilateral cooperation with Russia, particularly in addressing security challenges, and combating terrorism, and other transnational threats.

“As we continue to work closely together to resolve various conflicts in our respective regions, it is important that we seek peaceful approaches to regional mechanisms to address the root causes of these conflicts and find lasting solutions,” he noted.

Minister Birutra disclosed that there are ongoing discussions between both countries to explore new avenues of bilateral cooperation, especially in the areas of trade, smart cities, space technology, health, and sports and reiterated Rwanda’s commitment to nurturing and strengthening the excellent bilateral relations and cooperation.

“We are also committed to continuing to work closely with Russia and the international community on multilateral issues of mutual interest,” he concluded.

Observed every year on June 12, Russia Day commemorates when the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic first declared state sovereignty in 1990.

The declaration served as the foundation for reforms that led to Russia’s democracy.

The day was celebrated this year amidst ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine that erupted in February last year.

The Russian Ambassador to Rwanda has said that his country has clearly explained that the goal of conducting ‘its special military operation’ is ‘to remove the threat to national security that NATO has been creating for years’ on its borders.

He underscored that the ‘special military operation’ is aimed at protecting a population that the regime in Kiev ‘has been killing with impunity for many years with the blessing of its Western allies’.

Minister Biruta and Amb. Karen Chalyan reiterated both countries' commitment to deepen existing bilateral ties.
Minister Biruta underscored that Rwanda and Russia share a long and fruitful history of cooperation that was recently deepened in the areas of education, energy, peace and security.
Amb. Chalyan said that Rwanda-Russia cooperation in international affairs is strong and growing.
The celebration was attended by Russians and friends of Russia.
Gen Patrick Nyamvumba chatting with participants of the event including Minister Biruta and Amb. Karen Chalyan.
Both countries are committed to strengthening cooperation in different areas.

All Photos by Mahoro Luqman