Lavrov lands in Eswatini as part of Africa tour
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov arrives in Eswatini on a visit after concluding talks with South Africa.
Following his South Africa visit, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Kingdom of Eswatini, as he continued his Africa tour.
The Russian minister is expected to meet with Eswatini Foreign Minister Thuli Dladla, acting Minister of National Defense and Security Prince Sicalo Dlamini, and Prime Minister Cleopas Dlamini in Mbabane.
A minor nation on the African continent, the Kingdom of Eswatini was known, until 2018, as the Kingdom of Swaziland. It shares borders with South Africa in the south, west, and north, and with Mozambique in the east. The country is completely landlocked and is positioned on a plateau that descends in ledges from west to east. It is also worth noting that Eswatini remains a member of the British Commonwealth countries.
🇷🇺🇸🇿 Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in #Eswatini.— MFA Russia 🇷🇺 (@mfa_russia) January 23, 2023
📍 Mbabane, Eswatini#RussiaEswatini #RussiaAfrica pic.twitter.com/ZJXmfwRMTw
In response to whether Eswatini will participate in the upcoming 2023 Russia-Africa summit this July, the Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Vulie Kunene said "Eswatini participated in the last Russia-Africa summit in October 2019; the delegation was headed by King Mswati III. In this regard, there is an intention to participate, since this is an opportunity for the kingdom to build relations at the international forum and continue the discussions started during the previous summit."
According to Sputnik, the Russian FM is expected to discuss cooperation between Africa and Russia on topics of trade, tourism and coal mining.
Lavrov announces energy plans with S. Africa, discusses naval drills
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday that Russia and South Africa plan to develop bilateral cooperation in the energy sector and the exploration of natural resources.
On Monday morning, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor received Lavrov in the administrative capital city of Pretoria for bilateral talks.
"Our governments and companies in both countries are all interested in furthering joint projects related to natural resources, energy… peaceful space exploration, infrastructure, hi-tech, smart cities," Lavrov told reporters at a press conference with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor.
The Russian diplomat added that adjustments in financial instruments and supply chains are required to enhance bilateral ties, noting that Russia is closely working with its partners to create new mechanisms that will shield from the "whims and arbitrariness of our Western colleagues."
"It is real. We have been working on it together with all of our partners who want to ensure fair cooperation and avoid falling victim to unfair competition practices," Lavrov said.
On another note, the Russian diplomat spoke of the West's mixed reaction to joint naval drills initiated by Russia, China, and South Africa, saying he did not understand why they were a source of concern for the West.
"As for naval exercises, I think there is nothing even to comment on. Three sovereign countries conduct exercises without violating any norms of international law. I don't understand how they can cause a 'mixed' reaction," Lavrov said, noting that the drills could cause such a reaction mainly from the US' side.
"US colleagues believe that only they can conduct exercises around the world. Now they are actively engaged in naval exercises within the framework of the Indo-Pacific strategies around China, in the South China Sea, in the Taiwan Strait, and this does not cause any mixed reaction from anyone," he added.
The top diplomat highlighted that Russia "does not want any scandals and provocations" and that the naval exercises are transparent since all information has been provided.
Read more: Moscow warns the West: You are dragging the world to global disaster