Nigeria’s Vice President set to strengthen relations with Russia in St. Petersburg

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Nigeria is among nearly 50 countries attending the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg. The country’s Vice President Kashim Shettima will be representing President Bola Tinubu at the summit.

Shettima will be heading to St. Petersburg from Rome where he attended a UN Food Summit.

According to a statement from the Vice President’s office, he will join other political and business leaders at the summit where trade, food security, cooperation and the Russia-Ukraine war are expected to top discussions amid concerns in Africa over the suspension of a deal on Ukrainian grain exports.

While in Russia, Vice President Shettima will participate in bilateral meetings with senior Russian government officials and business leaders on relations between Russia and Nigeria.

This is one of the biggest events for the Tinubu administration since they came into power in May.

Nigeria is among many African countries that have been impacted by the War in Ukraine.

Millions in the country are facing food insecurity as it depends largely on imports with Russia being a top source , especially food items like wheat & seafood as well as fertiliser.

The country is an important trade partner for Nigeria and trade between both countries is estimated at over $2 billion.

At the first Russia-Africa summit in 2019, former President Muhammadu Buhari and President Vladimir Putin signed agreements on military cooperation, oil and gas and rail developments and also agreed on the advancement of ongoing projects for the establishment of a nuclear power plant in Nigeria.

US accused of sabotage

Meanwhile, the Kremlin has accused the West and in particular the United States, of trying to sabotage the Russia-Africa summit by pressuring African countries not to take part.

International affairs analyst, Faith Abiodun, provides some insight into the matter: 

-Report by Ajeck Mangut