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Nigeria is Russia’s strategic African partner – Envoy

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Offers university admission to stranded Nigerian students wishing to continue education

In picture above: Nigerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Belarus, Prof. Abdullahi Shehu and The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr Mikhail Bogdanov during a visit of the Nigerian diplomat in Moscow, Russia.

Possibly to bolster its diplomatic strength in the midst of its standoff against Western countries over its conflict with Ukraine, Russia is reinforcing its diplomatic ties with other parts of the world, especially African countries.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Mr Mikhail Bogdanov, said on Friday that Russia considers Nigeria as an important country and a strategic partner in Africa.

In a statement issued by the Nigerian Embassy in Moscow, Bogdanov is reported to have said this while receiving the Nigerian Ambassador to the Russian Federation with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Belarus, Prof. Abdullahi Shehu.

Bogdanov who doubles as the special representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and African Countries said that both countries would continue to strengthen existing bilateral relationships.

Receiving the Nigerian Ambassador in his office, the representative informed the Nigerian Ambassador regarding the logistics arrangements put in place by the Russian Government to assist in the evacuation of Nigerian students that were stuck in Kherson, Ukraine.

He assured the Ambassador that the Russian Government would provide necessary assistance to ensure the safety and well-being of Nigerian citizens in the Russian Federation.

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During their conversation, the current situation in Ukraine was discussed, as well as a range of topical matters regarding the future development of the traditionally friendly Russia-Nigeria relations, adding that efforts to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in trade, economy, science, technology, culture, humanitarian sphere and other fields.

The deputy minister further informed the Ambassador that the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation was willing to offer admissions to Nigerians who were willing to continue their education in the Russian Federation.

The minister recalled the warm and beneficial relationships between Nigeria and the Russian Federation.

These he said included the latter`s military and political support to Nigeria during the civil war and subsequent assistance to Nigeria to build the Ajaokuta Steel Complex.

He said this also included assistance for nuclear technology development for peaceful purposes.

He further assured the Nigerian Envoy that Russia considers Nigeria as an important country and a strategic partner in Africa and will continue to strengthen our bilateral relationships.

Responding, Shehu thanked the government of the Russian Federation for its concern and assistance towards the plights of Nigerians.

He recalled the cordial relations between Nigeria and the Russian Federation at the bilateral, continental and global levels, including Nigeria`s support towards the Russia-Africa Summit, as well as on global issues.

“Such as the fight against terrorism, climate change and international peace and security’’.

The Ambassador further requested the Russian authorities to provide the necessary conducive environment for the welfare and wellbeing of Nigerians in the Russian Federation as well as strengthening our bilateral relations in all sectors. (NAN)

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