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Nigeria and Russia sign military pact

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Image Credits: Valery Sharifullin / TASS, Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool/Reuters/File Photo.

Under a new agreement, Russia is to provide Nigeria with military equipment and training of personnel.

This comes after a military cooperation agreement which provides the legal framework for the supply of equipment and training of troops was signed in Moscow on Wednesday.

The deal follows an expression of interest in 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari when he met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at a Russia-Africa summit.

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari attends a reception at the closing session of the Commonwealth Business Forum at the Guildhall in London, Britain on April 18, 2017. Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

It was the view of Buhari at the time that Russia could help Nigeria defeat the Boko Haram Islamic insurgency in the northeast of the country, which has remained a nagging headache for the country.

According to a statement released by the Nigerian Embassy in Moscow, “the Agreement on Military-Technical Cooperation between both countries provides a legal framework for the supply of military equipment, provision of after-sales services, training of personnel in respective educational establishments and technology transfer, among others.”

It described the pact as a landmark development in bilateral relations between Abuja and Moscow.

Russian military equipment has been used by Nigeria over the years, the most popular being the Kalashnikov guns also known as AK-47.

Nigeria also uses some Russian fighter jets and helicopters, in addition to military equipment acquired from Western countries including the United States.

In 2019, Russia signed a contract to supply 12 Mi-35 Hind E attack helicopters to Nigeria.

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Earlier, in July this year, it was reported that U.S. lawmakers had put a hold on a proposal to sell almost $1 billion of weapons to Nigeria over concerns about possible human rights abuses by the Nigerian government.

According to the reports, the proposed sale of 12 attack helicopters and related equipment was being delayed in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

(with agency reports)

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