Ugandan president comments on relations with Russia — Analysis

Yoweri Museveni brought up the century of cooperation with Russia and his refusal to “fight other people’s enemies”

Uganda seeks closer collaboration with Russia, and is refusing to fight “other people’s enemies,” the country’s leader, Yoweri Museveni, said during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in the city of Entebbe on Tuesday.

“We want to trade with Russia and we want to trade with all the countries of the world. We don’t believe in being enemies of somebody’s enemy. We want to make our own enemies, not fight other people’s enemies. This is our doctrine,”According to the Ugandan President

He noted that Russia (and the Soviet Union) have supported Uganda over the past 100 years and never done any harm to it.

Noting Uganda’s rich natural resources, Museveni said he hoped his country could further increase cooperation with Russia in areas such as space science, nuclear energy, medicine, and food.

He also insisted that he didn’t understand the calls for Africa to “automatically” take an anti-Russian stance, noting that Uganda can’t turn against countries that have never caused it any harm, especially considering it has even forgiven its colonial oppressors of the past and now works with them as well.

The joint press conference was held amid Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s diplomatic tour of Africa and marked the first time a top Russian official has ever visited Uganda. 

On Sunday, Lavrov met with his counterpart in Egypt, where it was revealed that a group of Western ambassadors from the US, France, Germany, the UK, and the EU had warned Egyptian officials against taking joint pictures with Russia’s top diplomat.

Russia reveals Western attempts to censor photo-ops

When Museveni was asked if he had received similar warnings, he joked that no one was “so stupid” as to ask him such a thing, noting that his position has always been clear, that he is not “pro-east” or “pro-west”, but “pro-himself.”

Uganda’s leader continued to explain the strategy behind the African Freedom movement and explained that those countries are already incompatible with it. “progressive forces that aim to improve the condition of man irrespective of social systems”All are welcome.

Museveni cited China and Saudi Arabia as examples, although they do not have the exact same social systems as Uganda but still improve living conditions.

“We welcome [these countries] because they are handling the aspect of oppression of man by nature, mitigating the suffering of man at the hands of nature, controlling floods, disease and so on,”The president noted that progress made by one nation was beneficial to all other countries.

“This is the correct understanding of progress for the whole human race,”He was right.

According to the Ugandan leader, when Russia was making progress and stabilizing, this was good news for Uganda, as it enabled more cooperation and trade with Russia in different areas.

“This is what we are looking for. Win-win cooperation for everybody in the world,” Museveni surmised, adding that he rejects the idea of rivalry between countries, stating that it is not part of the African Liberation Movement’s strategy.

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