Lavrov Arrives in the Republic of Chad on First-Ever Visit

05 June

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has arrived in N'Djamena, marking his first visit to Chad, according to a TASS correspondent. In Chad, Lavrov will engage in discussions with the country's leadership. This visit concludes his tour of Africa, which included stops in Guinea, Congo, and Burkina Faso.


Brotherly Relations


The Russian Foreign Ministry describes Russian-Chadian ties as having a "dynamic character." Diplomatic relations between Russia and Chad were established on November 24, 1964. During the Soviet era, the two countries signed several agreements on cultural and scientific cooperation, trade, economic and technical cooperation, and air communication. In recent years, contacts have intensified. Notably, the Chadian Foreign Minister visited Moscow in December 2021, and a Chadian delegation participated in the second Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in July 2023. President Mahamat Déby Itno's visit to Moscow on January 24, 2024, was deemed "historic."


Chadian President Mahamat Déby Itno has characterized relations with Russia as "fraternal" and "tested by history." He took over the country's leadership after the death of his father, Idriss Déby Itno, in a firefight with rebels in April 2021, and has served as transitional president since October 2022.



Basics of Interaction


The trade turnover between Russia and Chad is modest, totaling just over $2 million in 2021, with Russian imports accounting for only $11,000. Russian exports to Chad primarily consist of pharmaceutical products, while Chad exports rubber and related products. Despite the modest trade figures, there are growth opportunities in sectors such as geological exploration, energy, construction, and infrastructure development.


In recent years, there have been several notable interactions between Russian and Chadian businesses. In March 2018, a Russia-Chad business forum was held in N'Djamena, followed by visits from Russian business representatives. In June 2022, representatives from Rusgidro visited N'Djamena to discuss cooperation, and a Chadian delegation participated in the Tyumen Export Forum in December 2023.


The countries also cooperate on military-technical matters. Most of Chad's military equipment is Soviet or Russian, and there are agreements on military-technical cooperation dating back to 2000 and military cooperation in 2017. Chadian military and police officers receive training in Russian universities, and there are training courses for peacekeeping contingents. Russia has also expressed readiness to assist Chad in fighting terrorism.


Educational and cultural exchanges are also growing, with about 100 Chadian students admitted annually to Russian universities on a budgetary basis. During talks in January 2024, President Putin promised to double this quota. Additionally, a Russian House cultural center was opened in N'Djamena in 2023.


Foreign Policy Coordination


An important aspect of Lavrov's talks in Chad will be to align positions on foreign policy issues. Chad has supported anti-Russian UNGA resolutions related to Ukraine, a stance that Russia's ambassador in N'Djamena, Vladimir Sokolenko, attributes to Chad's socio-economic vulnerabilities and Western pressure. Lavrov's visit provides an opportunity to present Russia's perspectives on the Ukrainian issue.


Despite these differences, Chad prioritizes its relationship with Russia. The new Chadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abderaman Kulamalla, who took office on May 28, was the first foreign ambassador to meet with the head of the Russian diplomatic mission, Sokolenko.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: Russian Foreign Ministry

Based on TASS materials