Rwanda negotiates purchase of air defense systems from Russia

Russia and Rwanda are discussing the possible acquisition of Russian air defense systems, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced at a press conference following talks with Rwandan Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, the Russian Foreign Ministry website reported.

"We have good cooperation in the military-technical sphere," he said. According to him, Russian helicopters and Ural trucks are currently in service with the army, security forces and law enforcement bodies of Rwanda. Russia has also been supplying small arms to the country, Lavrov said.

The Russian Foreign Minister said that in 2017, an intergovernmental commission for military-technical cooperation was established. In the fall of 2017, at a meeting in Kigali, "concrete steps were outlined to develop cooperation in this area," Lavrov said. He added that the second meeting is scheduled to be held in Moscow in the fall.

"We believe that Rwanda, with its sad experience of overcoming the consequences of the national tragedy that erupted a quarter of a century ago, has managed over these years to overcome its consequences, to ensure national harmony and sustainable development with the participation of all the nationalities and ethnic groups inhabiting the country, and it can make a significant contribution to the advancement these principles at the continental level," Lavrov said.

He added that Russia highly appreciated Rwanda's participation in UN peacekeeping operations. The head of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs noted that "according to general recognition and feedback,” Rwandan peacekeepers are the most effective and disciplined.

  Rwanda, air defence systems, Russia, Sergey Lavrov