Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Tuesday for a two-day visit in the last leg of his 4-nation Africa tour.
Lavrov also visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, and Uganda as part of his tour aimed at rallying support for sanctions-hit Russia as its war with Ukraine enters the sixth month.
Upon arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, Lavrov was welcomed by Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.The Russian foreign minister is expected to meet with high-level officials from both the Ethiopian government and the African Union Commission on Wednesday.
Lavrov’s visit came on the heels of a Türkiye-brokered deal with Ukraine to clear wheat exports from Ukrainian ports — which have been causing global supply chain issues.
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, welcomed the deal signed on July 22 in Istanbul in the presence of UN chief Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The chairperson of the commission commends all the parties on this successful development, according to an African Union statement.
Since the war between Russia and Ukraine began in late February, the African Union has remained neutral as a pan-African body.
In March, 17 African nations abstained from a UN resolution condemning Russia for the war.
In June, Mahamat visited both Moscow and Kyiv.
Many African countries depend on wheat exports from Russia and Ukraine.