6 March 201809:09

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks during talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of Namibia Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Windhoek, March 5, 2018


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Madam Minister, colleagues, friends, brothers and sisters,

It gives me great pleasure to be here in Windhoek, where we don’t just feel at home but we are at home. Thank you very much for your hospitality and for arranging the visit in such an efficient manner.

Madam Minister, we would like to highlight again your contribution and support to the high level of our cooperation. Political contacts are very intense. There are contacts between our parliamentarians, our ministries, the Joint Russian-Namibian Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation is working, and we would like it to be action-oriented. As you have said, in November 2017 the Commission had its 7th meeting here in Windhoek, where very important decisions were made on mining, agriculture, fisheries, transport, education, tourism, and military-technical cooperation, which of course is a separate working group within the Intergovernmental Commission.

Madam Minister, you talked about the prospects which are opening up in the area of uranium. We welcomed the agreements reached between our respective companies. Russian State Corporation ROSATOM is talking with its vis-à-vis in Namibia to finalise the agreement on cooperation and peaceful use of nuclear energy, which will open up cooperation opportunities in this area, from medicine and modern technology up to the potential construction of a nuclear power plant in your country.

Our companies in other areas, including as I said agriculture, mining and the diamond industry, are also talking to each other. They have plans, and I hope that these plans will become more and more specific and will start to materialise.

We welcome the efforts to make more active the Joint Russian-Namibian Commission on Fisheries. The next meeting of this important body is scheduled to take place soon this year. We will certainly be encouraging the finalisation of the efforts to create a joint venture that will be called NamRos, Namibia-Russia, in order to make progress in cooperation on fisheries.

There are quite specific plans in the transport sector, including civil aviation and railroad transport. As I said, the working group on military- technical cooperation is very active. In tourism, we welcomed the creation of a new joint venture between the Russian company Intourist and Namibian company Leopard Lodge Namibia. This is a very promising project.

Certainly, we would like to finalise the draft agreement on the pipeline in addition to the nuclear energy agreement, the draft treaty on extradition and transfer of prisoners, cooperation on customs matters and quite a number of agency-to-agency and ministry-to-ministry agreements on science, technology, innovation, standardisation, industry, trade and healthcare.

As you said, Madam Minister, we highly value our cooperation in the United Nations and at other international venues, including in the context of cooperation between Russia and the African Union, and between Russia and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

We always believed and insisted that African conflicts can only have African solutions. We do not support any attempts to impose on Africa decisions from the outside on any conflict situation on this continent. We believe that the international community should invite the Africans themselves to arrive at some meaningful compromises and then the international community should strongly support Africans in delivering on these agreements, morally, politically and materially. Russia contributes to these efforts by training African peacekeepers and law enforcement personnel at the respective Russian institutions.

Of course, we strongly support the position of the African Union to be fairly represented in the United Nations Security Council. We are convinced that the biggest deficiency of the current system is the underrepresentation of the developing regions: Africa, Asia and Latin America. Whatever moves are taken in the process to reform the Security Council, we will insist that the priority is to increase the representation of these three developing regions. And of course we will be very sympathetic to Namibia’s position as regards climate change negotiations and the efforts to create structures at the universal and regional level to work on this very acute problem.

Madam Minister, thank you once again for your hospitality, for a very interesting and serious vision of promoting our partnership, building on decades and decades of history, including the history of our common struggle for the independence of your wonderful country.

Thank you very much.

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