The President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, says on the international arena, his country only sees Russia as her friend on development.

This, he said, last week during his two-day official visit to Moscow where he held talks with Russian leader, Vladimir Putin on among other issues, the situation in the world, mutual relations and prospects for their deepening.

“I am happy that I am here today and would have to say other things, maybe, in the same meeting or in the other meetings. And we will work together, as the world dictates, nobody can stand alone, and I can not do it alone,” Kiir told President Putin.

“We are the youngest nation in the world, and we need our own friends. You are one of them. We do not see any alternative besides you,” he added.

On his part, President Putin said the relations between the two countries are developing rather intensively, noting that Mosco was among the first countries to recognise the sovereignty and independence of South Sudan.

He noted that despite that political independence, much remains to be done, primarily in the sphere of economic development.

As such, Putin pledged to further cooperation with South Sudan and support it to achieve her desired economic and social interests.

“Last year, we recorded a certain decline in bilateral trade. However, we can see trade increasing this year, and this is only the beginning. We have many favourable opportunities in many diverse fields, including energy. I hope that current projects, including the construction of a refinery in your country with the assistance of a Russian company, and plans for the second phase of this project will benefit the development of our trade and economic ties,” President Putin said.

“We continue to cooperate in the humanitarian sphere. Students from your country study at Russian universities, and we are determined to expand this cooperation.”

“I know that you maintain direct contacts with the Russian Federation’s regions, including Tatarstan, and I hope that this aspect of our activities will continue to develop.”

“Of course, we realise that future sustainable development largely depends on the efforts to ensure security and to resolve all the problems and difficulties that you have inherited from the past. We will, therefore, do everything possible to support you in this respect, as well,” he added.

Putin and Kiir also discussed regional security in light of the war in neighbouring Sudan, and the South Sudanese president said, per the Kremlin release, “we need our own friends. You are one of them. We do not see any alternative besides you.”

The conflict in Sudan erupted in April when the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a paramilitary group, took up arms against the Sudanese army in the capital Khartoum.

Sudan is the only conduit for crude oil exports out of landlocked South Sudan. The two countries export primarily Nile and Dar blends to markets in Asia from Port Sudan via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait. While most of the oil belongs to South Sudan, the two countries together exported some 132,000 bpd of crude oil in 2021.

South Sudan’s crude oil exports have climbed to their highest level in almost two years despite an ongoing war in Sudan, estimates showed last month.

Kungu Al-Mahadi Adam is an experienced Ugandan multimedia Journalist with a background of fact checking and thorough research. He is very passionate about current African affairs particularly Horn of Africa. He...

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