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Russian foreign minister visits Rwanda to strengthen bilateral ties

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov arrived on Sunday morning in the Rwandan capital Kigali for one day official visit, intended to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Russia and Rwanda are looking forward to further boosting bilateral cooperation in areas that support the economic development of Rwanda, said Lavrov at a news conference shortly after meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo.

“We see great advances in trade and economic cooperation between Russia and Rwanda. We are planning closer bilateral cooperation in areas of mining, agriculture, medicine, defence, ICTs and education and training,” he said.

Russia sees Africa as an “important cornerstone” in the formation of the new world order, said the minister, adding that the two sides have decided to continue cooperating closely with UN, and help resolve conflicts on the African continent.

“Rwanda wishes to collaborate more with Russia, especially in fostering peace and security on the African continent,” said Mushikiwabo.

Russia could play a crucial role particularly in peacekeeping in Africa, she said.

During his visit, Lavrov visited Kigali Genocide Memorial Center to honor the victims of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, and also held a bilateral meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the office of the president.

This year marks the 55th anniversary of bilateral relations between Rwanda and Russia.

Presently, Rwanda collaborates with Russia in the fields of education and training, military and defence, ICTs and mining, according to the Rwandan foreign ministry.

About 800 Rwandan students have graduated from Russian universities over the last 50 years in various disciplines including law, medicine, international affairs and political science, figures from the Rwandan embassy in Russia show.

Sunday’s visit follows Lavrov’s five African countries tour in March.



Russia, Rwanda discuss air defense system supplies

MOSCOW Russia (Xinhua) -- Russia and Rwanda are discussing the supplies of air defense systems as part of bilateral military-technical cooperation, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Sunday.

Lavrov made the remarks during a joint press conference following talks with his Rwandan counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo in the African country’s capital of Kigali, according to a press release of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

“We have really good cooperation in the military-technical sphere,” Lavrov said, recalling that Rwanda is using Russian helicopters, vehicles and small arms.

Last year, Russia and Rwanda set up an intergovernmental commission for military-technical cooperation and held their first meeting in Kigali in 2017.

The second meeting is planned for the autumn of this year in Moscow, Lavrov said.


Rwandans march against plastic pollution

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Rwandans on Sunday marched in the capital city of Kigali to encourage the public to join the effort to address plastic pollution. 

The march, organized by the ministry of environment through the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) is part of activities of the 2018 national environment week and World Environment Day due on June 5.

The “Beat Plastic Pollution Walk” offered a great opportunity to demonstrate Rwanda’s commitment to improving health and environment by ending the use of single-use plastics and addressing plastic waste, said REMA director general Coletha Ruhamya at the event.

Ruhamya urged Rwandans to reject using single-use plastics including plastic straws, cups, plates and bottles, and find sustainable alternatives.

Rwanda on May 29 launched the national environment week featuring different awareness activities aimed at addressing plastic pollution, such as countrywide inspection of the illegal use of plastic bags and exhibition on plastic recycling.

The event will be concluded on June 5 on World Environment Day.

For more than a decade, Rwanda has raised awareness about the benefits of life without plastic bags to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

In 2008, the landlocked country passed a law banning importation and use of polythene bags, which also stipulates heavy penalties for their use or smuggling them into the country.

REMA now encourages Rwandans to live without disposable plastics to make the world a better place for today and future generations.



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