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The historic visit of President Medvedev to Nigeria



At the end of the first ever official visit of Russian leader to Nigeria, the Federal government of Nigeria and Russia signed six bilateral agreements aimed at boosting both nations' strategic partnership.



The agreements were signed after talks between President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and his visiting counterpart, President Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev of the Russian Federation on Wednesday June 24 in Abuja.

The agreements are on:

1.      Transfer of persons sentenced to imprisonment,

2.      Investment promotion and Protection of Agreement (IPPA);

3.      Cooperation in the field of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes;

4.      Legal cooperation between the Nigerian and Russian ministries of justice;

5.      MOU on cooperation in the field of exploration of outer space for peaceful purposes; and

6.      MOU and Articles of Association on joint venture between the NNPC and GAZPROM.

 A communiqué issued after the two leaders' talks read:

"During the bilateral talks, the two heads of state discussed a wide range of issues, including pressing global problems and the situation on the African continent. The President agreed to expand cooperation between Nigeria and Russia on the international issues, as well as to strengthen Nigerian-Russian ties, in the spirit of the Declaration on the Principles of Friendly Relations and Partnership between the Russian Federation, signed on March 6, 2001, in Moscow.

"Expressing the need for developing legal framework for Nigerian-Russian cooperation, the two Presidents urged that work be completed on all outstanding bilateral agreements as soon as possible. In this regard, the two leaders welcomed the fact that a number of important bilateral agreements are signed on the occasion of the visit of the Russian President. The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the progressive growth of bilateral trade. At the same time they underlined the necessity for further increase of the turnover of goods between the two countries, as well as the need for promotion of direct contacts between Nigerian and Russian institutions, agencies and companies.

"Having reviewed the level of economic cooperation between their countries, the two Presidents underlined their firm intention to broaden economic ties, in particular cooperation in the spheres of energy, metallurgy, oil and gas production. In this regard, they noted the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between NNPC and JSC 'Gazprom' on the establishment of a Joint Venture. The two leaders also pointed out the importance of developing bilateral cooperation in the humanitarian and cultural spheres.

"During their talks, the two presidents reviewed key regional and global issues. They noted that Nigeria and Russia share similar views and approaches on the issues of international peace and security, as well as sustainable development. They also underscored the need for a more democratic system of international relations that takes account of the interests of all countries and is based on multi-polarity and international law. The two leaders also expressed their willingness to work together with other countries in order to reach these goals. The two Presidents agreed on the need to strengthen the United Nations in its coordinating role in international relations. They affirmed the importance of the reform of the UN based on consensus in order to increase its effectiveness and response to represent global problems and challenges.

"With respect to the current global financial and economic crisis, the two leaders stressed the necessity to intensify efforts aimed at shaping a new international financial system with the active participation of the whole international community, including African countries. They considered the situation on the energy market and advocated the carrying out of the reforms in the interest of all stakeholders. The two presidents called for the deepening of constructive dialogue and cooperation between their countries, which are among the leading oil-producers in the world and are natural partners on energy.

"The two leaders reviewed the problems of promoting sustainable social and economic development of the African continent. They paid special attention to the issue of peacekeeping, as well as to conflict-prevention and resolution on the continent. The two sides emphasised the necessity of effective international crisis management assistance to Africa. They also called for close coordination and cooperation between the Untied Nations and the African Union, as well as sub-regional organisations in the continent.

"President Medvedev paid tribute to Nigeria's role in international affairs, especially in Africa, where the country has made great contribution in promoting stability and security on the continent. He reiterated Russia's policy in Africa, which is based on support for the development and progress of the continent. President Yar'Adua praised Russia's role in the promotion of sustainable social and economic development of African countries, especially in the prevention and resolution of crisis situations on the continent. He called for further Russian assistance in dealing with the challenges confronting Africa.

"The two Presidents expressed deep satisfaction with the results of the bilateral talks and affirmed their determination to continue with regular political consultations and dialogue as important means of promoting Nigerian-Russian Strategic partnership and cooperation. President extended invitation to President Yar'Adua to visit Russia. The invitation was accepted. The date of the visit shall be determined through normal diplomatic channel."



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