Ethiopia, Russia sign military pact amid tensions with US

2021-07-13 20:25:17
Ethiopia, Russia sign military pact amid tensions with US

Russia and Ethiopia have signed a military cooperation agreement amid tensions with the United States.

The agreement came at the conclusion of three days of deliberations held as part of the military technical cooperation forum in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Finance Division State Minister of the Ethiopian National Defense Force Martha Liwij said the agreements signed on Monday will have a “paramount significance” in transforming the longstanding relations between the two nations to a higher level, according to the local broadcaster FANA.

"The agreement will be focusing on transforming capacity of the [Ethiopian] national defense force in knowledge, skill and technology spheres," it said.

Russia has long been one of Ethiopia's leading suppliers of military hardware.

This Russia-Ethiopia agreement has been signed amid tensions between Addis Ababa and Washington.

Last month hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians of all walks of life took to the streets to protest what they described as interference by the US administration.

In the capital Addis Ababa, the protesters filled the city's old stadium and the surrounding streets in a well-organized, peaceful demonstration dubbed Voices of Freedom and Sovereignty.

US President Joe Biden cemented his administration's anti-Ethiopia stance with impossible calls that angered the vast majority of Ethiopians.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's administration strongly denounced the visa restrictions imposed by the Biden administration against unnamed officials and army members, and threatened stronger measures, including the suspension of security aid.

“We demand the US to rethink its stance on Ethiopia,” “We will never kneel down for external pressure,” "We elect our leaders,” and “It is my dam” were some of the messages displayed on placards at the rally.

The protesters in contrast displayed the photos of Turkish, Chinese, and Russian presidents in a show of praise and respect.

Ethiopia and neighboring Eritrea have both accused the US of meddling in Ethiopia's restive Tigray region.

The US has recently imposed sanctions against some Ethiopian officials who Washington blames for alleged human rights abuses in the country’s restive Tigray Province.

Both Russia and Ethiopia are now facing US sanctions and this could result more mutually beneficial agreements between the two countries.

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