- Russia to Supply Nigeria Military Hardware, Helicopters for Fight Against Boko Haram
The Russian government has promised to supply Nigeria with military hardware and helicopters to assist Nigeria in its fight against the Boko Haram sect, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama has said.
The deal, which is already in the pipeline, is part of the efforts aimed at deepening co-operation between Russia and Nigeria.
Onyeama who disclosed this thursday in Moscow, said both countries were stepping up their co-operation in the efforts to tame Boko Haram and other terrorist groups in the world.
Russia also commended Nigeria’s exemplary role in ensuring peace and stability in Africa and the rest of the world, the minister said.
“Of course terrorism is an area we also want to co-operate with Russia, it’s a global challenge. They also face terror challenges and we look forward to stepping up our co-operation with Russia in the fight against terrorism.
“They have agreed to deliver some military equipment, some helicopters. They are very much in the pipeline,” Onyeama said.
He stressed that “Russia has shown great solidarity with us, and we really look forward to a vibrant and very dynamic relationship between our two countries”.
“We face a lot of conflict in Africa and also our country Nigeria, and we are looking to Russia for co-operation.
“Russia is showing great solidarity with us in confronting some of our security challenges in the area of terrorism, which has now become a global challenge.
“And we appreciate very much the importance of working together and sharing intelligence and we are delighted that Russia is on the same page with us,” he added.
The minister stressed that a strong Russia was a good thing for the world, explaining that a strong Russia will give the world balance.
“You might likely have balance, because if you have one country that is totally dominant, it might not always necessarily make for a balanced approach towards issues.
“We believe in multilateralism. We believe that the big issues of the day, global issues, should be addressed on a multilateral framework.
“That is the framework of the United Nations. And you are more likely to have that when you have different poles of strength and influence.
“If you have a unipolar world, you are also most likely to have a process that does not really have to have the consensus of many other countries,” he said.
Onyeama also stressed that Russia should engage with Africa, given the European country’s achievements in all human endeavours.
“We believe that such a great country that has achieved wonderful things in all sectors, should engage with Africa,” he noted.
Speaking on the gains of his visit to Russia, Onyeama said: “Russia is ready to engage more with Nigeria and engage more with Africa in the areas of priority to us and that is security and the economy and this is a very good thing.
“We are trying to diversify our economy and diversification is not just in strengthening various sectors, but also in engaging with every partner and Russia has unique value that they can add to our economic relations in the area of oil and gas, power, agriculture and also science and technology.
“These are areas they are particularly strong in and could help in our industrialisation drive.
“And for Africa too, in peace keeping and their role in the United Nations, as one of the key five permanent members of the Security Council, they will have influence in the resources the United Nations will make available for peacekeeping in Africa.
“Most of the peacekeeping duties undertaken by United Nations are in Africa and we will certainly need the support of Russia, as we know that there is a call by the other key four members on the Security Council to reduce the amount of money available for peacekeeping in Africa.
“So we look for Russia’s support in terms of the reform of the United Nations and also to support Africa in the UN, as a permanent member of the Security Council,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has been commended for its leadership role in the socio-economic and political growth of the African continent.
The commendation was re-echoed at the Africa Day celebration held in Moscow as part of the programme lined up for Onyeama’s visit.
The presentation of the Russian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Sergey Lavrov and other African Ministers of Foreign Affairs reflected the great positive role Nigeria has been playing in global diplomacy.
China and EU Seek Partnership: Xi Jinping Proposes Key Trade Alliance
Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed his desire for China and the European Union (EU) to become key trade partners and foster trust in supply chains, during a meeting with EU leaders in Beijing.
The talks marked the first in-person summit between the two sides in four years and addressed a range of economic concerns, including data flows and market access.
Xi emphasized China’s commitment to high-quality development and opening up, positioning the EU as a crucial partner in economic and trade cooperation.
He envisioned the EU as a trusted collaborator in industrial and supply chain cooperation, aiming for mutual benefits and win-win results.
The summit delved into longstanding issues, such as efforts by Europe to “de-risk” its supply chains and the EU’s anti-subsidies investigation into Chinese-made electric vehicles.
China criticized the investigation, urging the EU to avoid using it for “trade protectionism.”
Xi called for the elimination of interference between China and the EU, a statement likely directed at the United States, which has taken actions, including enlisting the Netherlands, to curb China’s development of high-end semiconductors.
The EU leaders, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, described their conversation with Xi as “good and candid.”
They discussed the main challenges amid increasing geopolitical frictions, emphasizing a commitment to balanced trade relations and pledging to enhance people-to-people exchanges.
During the meeting, Italy formally informed China of its exit from the Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting ongoing strains between the EU and China.
Xi discussed Belt and Road with EU leaders, expressing a willingness to connect it with the EU’s Global Gateway infrastructure plan.
However, deep issues remain, including Russia’s war in Ukraine, trade imbalances, and Chinese overcapacity exported to Europe.
Jens Eskelund, president of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, stressed the need to address these issues to foster a positive relationship between Beijing and Brussels.
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Nigeria Eyes BRICS Membership within Two Years as Foreign Minister Emphasizes Strategic Alignment
In a strategic move towards global economic collaboration, Nigeria is aspiring to join the BRICS group of nations within the next two years.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, affirmed that Nigeria is open to aligning itself with groups that demonstrate good intentions, well-meaning goals, and clearly defined objectives.
Tuggar stated, “Nigeria has come of age to decide for itself who her partners should be and where they should be; being multiple aligned is in our best interest.”
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to be part of influential groups like BRICS and the G-20, citing criteria such as population and economy size that position Nigeria as a natural candidate.
BRICS, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, stands as a formidable bloc of emerging market powers.
In a recent move to expand its influence, BRICS invited six additional nations, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Egypt, Argentina, Ethiopia, and the United Arab Emirates, to join the group.
Nigeria, as Africa’s largest economy, has been absent from the BRICS alliance, prompting discussions on the potential economic and political advantages the bloc could offer the country.
Analysts have noted that BRICS membership could provide Nigeria with significant leverage on the global stage.
Vice President Kashim Shettima clarified that Nigeria did not apply for BRICS membership after the bloc’s announcement of new members in August.
Shettima emphasized the principled approach of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, highlighting a commitment to consensus building in decisions related to international partnerships.
As Nigeria eyes BRICS membership, the move is seen as a strategic step towards enhancing its global economic and diplomatic influence.
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