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21 Dec, 2023 13:15

Russia ready to meet African demand for grain – Lavrov

Moscow is prepared to boost its wheat exports to Tunisia, the foreign minister said
Russia ready to meet African demand for grain – Lavrov

Tunisia is interested in importing more Russian grain, and Moscow is prepared to meet the North African country’s demand, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated during a press conference on Thursday.

Russia and Tunisia are planning to expand their bilateral cooperation, particularly with respect to the agriculture and energy sectors, according to Lavrov.

"The interest in expanding the supply of our grain is evident, this is what the president of Tunisia [Kais Saied] said today. We, as you know, are ready for this," Lavrov said. He noted that Russia has enjoyed a fruitful harvest for the third year in a row.

"[We] agreed to develop our cooperation in all fields. This also applies to agriculture, here there is interest in our grain supply, this also applies to the field of energy, including nuclear energy," the Russian foreign minister told journalists following his meeting with Tunisian President Kais Saied.

Lavrov also stated that Moscow and Tunis have decided to speed up the entry into force of an agreement on the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Cooperation in high technology, including space exploration, is also of interest to both countries. The first Tunisian satellite has recently been launched by a Russian launch vehicle, and a second such satellite is planned for next year. 

Meanwhile, an intergovernmental commission on trade, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation will be held by Russia and Tunisia during the first half of 2024, where the discussion will center around the conclusion of a free trade zone agreement, the Russian foreign minister said.

"In the first quarter or at the very beginning of the second quarter of [next year], a regular meeting of the intergovernmental commission of the Russian-Tunisian trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation will be held," Lavrov said, replying to a question from journalists about the stage of preparation for a free trade agreement between Russia and Tunisia.

During his working visit to Tunisia on Thursday, the Russian foreign minister met with his Tunisian counterpart Nabil Ammar and Tunisian President Kais Saied.

According to the Telegram post of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Lavrov arrived in Tunisia on Wednesday for a working visit. Before arriving, Lavrov was in Marrakech, Morocco on a working visit. The Russian foreign minister also took part in a meeting of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum.