Museveni (right) set to meet Putin again. FILE PHOTO
Moscow, Russia | TASS | Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni will attend the second Russia-Africa Summit, due to be held in St. Petersburg in July, Museveni said in an exclusive interview with TASS First Deputy Director-General Mikhail Gusman.
“I will definitely come to St. Petersburg in July. In this issue, the political will is of crucial importance. It is not an issue of needs, but an issue of ideology. As long as you profess the ideology of equality and brotherhood, the other things are simply details,” he said.
According to Museveni, relations between Russia and Uganda have always been excellent.
“We only had a short break after [President of the Soviet Union Mikhail] Gorbachev. It was an unstable period in Russia, and we did not cooperate then,” the president said, pointing out that the relations stabilized again later.
“So we had a very good relationship with the Soviet Union, and now we have a very good relationship with Russia,” the Ugandan president concluded.
He also added that Uganda highly appreciates its cooperation with Russia in defense.
“Today, we are very satisfied with our cooperation with the Russian Federation. We cooperate in the sphere of defense, and we buy high-quality weapons and technologies from Russia,” the Ugandan leader said.
Museveni also emphasized that he was grateful for the Soviet Union’s assistance in Africa’s fight against colonialism.
The second Russia-Africa summit and economic forum are scheduled for July 26-29 in St. Petersburg. The first summit was held on October 22-24, 2019 in Sochi under the slogan ‘For Peace, Security and Development.
Oil, agriculture cooperation
Uganda and Russia have enormous potential for cooperation, including in the oil, healthcare, agriculture and other sectors, Museveni told TASS.
“Nowadays, Russia produces plenty of fertilizers. We see the potential in this area, but we have not implemented it yet. We have potential in the area of oil and petrochemicals. The field for action is spacious,” he said.
Additionally, Museveni pointed out that the two countries have vast potential for cooperation in the areas related to people’s daily needs.
“Among those needs are food, housing, clothing, medicine and mobility (ability to move around), and communication. All of these and many more are human needs. It depends on who deals better with what. And that is how the exchange takes place,” the president added.
“We can easily exchange on a wide range of human needs. I can judge by our exports, as we export milk, beef, footwear, coffee, tea, cocoa, tropical fruit and grain that cannot grow in cold countries, and therefore the potential is huge,” the Ugandan president stated.
Museveni pointed out that the countries should promote cooperation in healthcare as well, especially against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We need to foster what is called ‘the pathogen economy’ with Russia. Viruses and parasites cause diseases, but also open up economic opportunities in terms of antiviral and anti-parasitic drugs. The problem turns into an opportunity,” he stressed.