On the sidelines of the work of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the Prime Minister multiplied contacts at bilateral level. Yesterday, Dr Choguel Kokalla Maïga met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershineen.
It was in the presence of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Abdoulaye Diop and other members of the delegation.
In recent years, cooperation between our country and Russia has intensified. In Doha, Sergey Vershineen and Dr Choguel Kokalla Maïga analyzed the evolution of this bilateral relationship.
An exercise that is all the easier since the parties have the same reading of the challenges to be met. They support each other on the security and diplomatic levels. The deputy head of Russian diplomacy is sure that this relationship will develop further in all areas. And for good reason, he argued, “our interests coincide and we can move forward politically and economically”.
This is also the wish of the head of government who wanted to remind “our Russian friends” that Mali’s choices revolve around these three principles: respect for sovereignty, respect for the choices of strategic partners and the defense of interests of the Malian people. In all his interventions in Doha, the Prime Minister systematically repeats these principles, on the basis of which our country defines its relations at the bilateral level. It so happens that today, he said, “Russia is pulling in the same direction”.
This country is above all on the same wavelength as ours on issues of sovereignty and the fight against terrorism. In this regard, Dr. Choguel Kokalla Maïga recalled that Russia has been one of the greatest victims of this scourge.
It has indeed known, a decade ago, major terrorist attacks. We therefore understand the meaning of his commitment alongside Mali. For the Prime Minister, our country, within the framework of this pragmatic cooperation, can benefit from the Russian experience. But also and above all, this brother country, as a military power, can satisfy a good part of our needs in terms of military equipment.
In addition, the head of government mentioned the support that the Russians can bring to Mali in the field of food security. It should be noted that the two states have already concluded important agreements on wheat, fertilizers, oil… They intend to expand the range to other products.
The common will displayed during this audience is to continue the exchanges in order to completely dissipate the problems that there were in the past between our country and the former Soviet Union. And this, so that “our cooperation is eminently beneficial to our two countries”, declared Dr. Choguel Kokalla Maïga.
On the diplomatic level, the parties agreed to cooperate more at the level of the United Nations system where “some bring embargoes against Mali and which are systematically blocked by the Russians”. The latter are also very “delighted that we are together to avoid the diplomatic battle against Russia”, added the Prime Minister, convinced that this common fight against terrorism and for a rebalancing of international relations, will necessarily win.
This audience was also intended as a preparatory meeting for the major visit that the Russian people are expecting from the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta. This trip, in the opinion of Choguel Kokalla Maïga, will be “the contemporary apogee of the bilateral relationship between the two countries”.