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Russia’s good news for Eswatini farmers

By Ntombi Mhlongo and Bahle Gama 
The Russian Federation has committed to helping the Kingdom of Eswatini in various sectors including agriculture with the priority being a long-term supply of grain and fertiliser.
This was announced by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov at the Cabinet Offices where the two countries signed a bilateral agreement on visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic service.
The visiting minister said his country realised the impact that the shortage of fertiliser had in the Kingdom of Eswatini’s agriculture sector which is why the Russian Federation has pledged to assist.
“Last summer, our President Vladimir Putin told the UN Secretary-General that there were about 280 000 tonnes of Russian fertiliser available and that the owner of the company fertiliser said that he was ready to supply countries with this grain-free of charge,” the minister said.
Other sectors set to benefit from Russian relations include digital development and information and technology. Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Senator Thuli Dladla said the Government of Eswatini bears testimony to the power of the two countries’ bilateral relationships.

“Russia has never wavered to play a significant role in assisting our domestic agenda on higher education, in-service training, and other areas of common value. We have a healthy number of doctors manning our hospitals who are proudly trained in Russia. This is a clear demonstration of your commitment to Eswatini and could be the most pragmatic option, by far, towards creating an unbreakable rapport from people to people,” the minister said.

Dladla mentioned that the Visa Waiver Agreement that has been signed today is a step in the right direction as it sets the tone for the movement of people between our two great countries.

She said she was optimistic that this will bring the two countries closer and could be an opportunity to propose a bilateral cooperation arrangement that seeks to find commonalities in many spheres of interest.

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