President Uhuru Kenyatta holds talks with the visiting Russia’s deputy minister of foreign affairs, Gennady Gatilov, after holding a meeting at State House Nairobi /PSCU
Celebrating 55th anniversary of Russian-Kenya diplomatic relations
In December 1963, the Soviet Union became the second country in the world to recognise the young Republic of Kenya as an independent state. That was a manifestation of the consistent policy of my country to support the anti-colonial struggle for liberation of the people of Africa and around the globe.
After Independence, Russia’s development aid to Kenya became an important part of our bilateral cooperation. For example, the Russian Scholarship Programme has been running successfully for more than half a century. Since the mid-1960s, thousands of Kenyans have been trained in various Soviet and Russian universities to become professional doctors, engineers, teachers, civil servants, and, most recently, IT experts and software developers.
Russia will continue to provide governmental scholarships to bright young Kenyans willing to receive higher and postgraduate education in our country.
Another important example is a Russian-funded hospital operating in Kisumu since 1967. Presently, it is called the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital and serves patients from seven Western counties. Today, we consider Kenya an important partner in Africa, a regional power and a political, economic, and humanitarian centre on the continent.
We respect the constructive and independent approach of Kenya to the issues on the global agenda and appreciate fruitful political cooperation with Kenya, including in the United Nations and other international fora. As a dynamically developing and technologically advanced country, Russia has much to offer to Kenya, which is Russia’s third largest economic partner in sub-Saharan Africa, including in the implementation of the Big Four agenda.
Our bilateral trade worth Sh3.4 billion is well balanced and growing steadily, and we are looking forward to expanding the cooperation to such areas as technology, energy, including nuclear; investment, joint projects, and tourism.
This year, the Russian oil giant LUKOIL launched the sale of its lubricant products in Kenya, with other economic operators exploring opportunities to enter the Kenyan market. In a short time, we hope to complete the necessary formalities to establish the Intergovernmental Russian-Kenyan Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation that would take our partnership to a new level.
A number of sectoral agreements are also expected to be finalised and signed. We value Kenya’s role in securing regional peace and stability, its firm commitment to confronting the evils of international terrorism, piracy, and transboundary crime.
Russia is contributing to these efforts by providing training to Kenyan police officers. The Embassy of the Russian Federation will continue to make all the necessary efforts to promote and facilitate further development and expansion of mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and Kenya.