Nebenzya proposes to hold talks in New York on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

09 July 2021

Russia offers to hold consultations in New York on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, Moscow is ready to assist in solving this problem, Russia's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said on Thursday at an open meeting of the world organization's Security Council on the situation around the said dam.

"Since all the parties concerned have gathered here in New York, why not hold a round of talks on the margins under the mediation of the African Union presidency to settle the controversy over the dam? It seems to us that this would be the best contribution of the SC to resolve the situation in the spirit of the "African problems - African solutions" principle, which we all share," said the Permanent Representative.

"We would like to emphasize the readiness of the Russian Federation to assist in resolving this complex problem. Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan are close friends of our country, and we sincerely hope that they will soon manage to settle the remaining contradictions, agree on modalities of further filling of the reservoir of the dam and in general reach compromise solutions on its functioning," Nebenzya added.

According to the Permanent Representative, "the Russian Federation is closely following the development of the situation around the Renaissance Dam being built by Ethiopia on the Blue Nile River." "We fully understand the political and socio-economic significance of this largest hydropower project on the African continent for the population of many millions of people in Ethiopia, which is experiencing a serious shortage of electricity. At the same time, we note the legitimate concerns expressed by Egypt and Sudan about the possible negative effects of the uncoordinated operation of the dam on the inhabitants of these countries during dry years," the diplomat added.

"We assume that there is no alternative to the settlement of this water dispute by political and diplomatic means during negotiations involving the three countries," Nebenzia noted.

About the dam

Since 2011, Ethiopia has been implementing a project to build Africa's largest dam Renaissance. The capacity of the hydropower plant, which will be a cascade of four dams, will be 5,250 MW. The project is 80% complete and Addis Ababa intends to commission the dam in 2022-2023. Egypt and Sudan are afraid that as a result of its launch the Nile may face acute water shortage which will lead to numerous social, economic and ecological problems and are trying to fix water norms for themselves and to extend the terms of filling the dam as long as possible.

The three countries are still unable to reach a compromise on the timing of filling and operating the dam. Egypt is seeking to lengthen the schedule and conclude a legally binding agreement that will clearly regulate the timing and norms of filling the reservoir of the hydroelectric power station. Ethiopia, which is extremely interested in filling and launching the dam as soon as possible, is not ready to sign the documents proposed by Cairo.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Photo: official website of the President of the Russian Federation

Based on materials from TASS