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H.E. Mr. A.Polyakov met Ugandan journalists

On December 19, 2016 the Russian Ambassador H.E. Mr. Alexander Polyakov held a “Frank Talk” with representatives of the Ugandan Media.

The journalists of the leading Ugandan newspapers "New Vision" and "Daily Monitor", as well as of the UBC channel were mostly interested in the bilateral relations between our countries and Russia's foreign policy.

The Ambassador fully explained the prospects of the Russian-Ugandan political dialogue at the highest level, as well as tasks and areas of work of the recently established Russian-Ugandan Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation (JPC).

Most of questions of the "Daily Monitor" were focused on the development of bilateral trade and economic ties. The Russian Ambassador noted that following the first meeting of the JPC in Kampala in October 2016 our countries managed to significantly speed up the preparation of several important drafts of intergovernmental and interministerial cooperation agreements that would constitute the legal ground for strengthening our relations in this area. Among them there is the Agreement on Mutual Protection and Promotion of Investments, which is the very prerequisite of any investment and business activity of Russian companies in Uganda.

H.E. Mr. A. Polyakov believes that in a bit more distant future the most promising spheres could be cooperation in the use of nuclear technology and energy for peaceful purposes. Currently the preparation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the "Rosatom" State Nuclear Energy Corporation and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development of the Republic of Uganda on the Use of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes is ongoing.

The Ambassador said that Russian and Ugandan competent authorities were also considering other legal instruments’ drafts, namely agreements on cooperation in ICT, on mutual protection of intellectual property in the course of bilateral military-technical cooperation, on mutual protection of classified information, MoU on cooperation in tourism and on cooperation in the field of healthcare.

Addressing the question on whether the Russian companies were still intending to participate in the Ugandan oil refinery project, H.E. Mr. A.Polyakov said that the negotiations between the Ugandan Government and the Consortium led by the company "PT - Global resources" had been over. However, if Kampala is willing to consider alternative proposals, Russian companies are ready to present their technical solutions. In particular, there is an option of a modular refinery with initial capacity from 7 to 14 thousand barrels per day, which can be upgraded to 60 thousand barrels. The first phase of the construction of such a plant (7 thousand barrels) can be completed within six months, while its cost will be incomparably less than the one of the current project of the refinery (more than 4 billion USD). Moreover the profits can be reinvested right after the launch of the first stage.

Journalists were also keenly interested in the Russian position on the most pressing international issues, including situation over Syria. They asked to comment on the recent accusations against Russia of alleged bombing of civilians in Aleppo.

H.E. Mr.A.Polyakov stressed that the Russian armed forces, acting strictly within the framework of the international law and on the request of the legitimate government in Syria, carried out a military operation aimed at combating terrorist organizations. The Ambassador emphasized that the strikes of the Russian Air Force were exclusively targeting the extremists. At the same time, many so-called independent media ignored the facts of death of civilians in Mosul, which was being bombed by the US-led coalition, and “by default” made Russia accountable for the victims of terrorists’ atrocities in Aleppo.

In conclusion, the Ambassador congratulated the participants and all Ugandans on the coming Christmas, wished them sound health, good luck in all their endeavors, prosperity and happiness in the New Year.