The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Guinea and Sierra Leone, Alexey V. Popov, paid a courtesy call on the Speaker of the Sierra Leone Parliament, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu, in his Chambers at the Parliament building in Freetown on Monday, February 5th, 2024.

Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu warmly welcomed the Russian Ambassador, expressing his delight and high expectations for the visit. He reminisced about his previous visit to Russia, where Speakers from African countries were invited to an occasion aimed at strengthening relations between the continent and the Russian Federation.

In response, the Russian Ambassador, Alexey V. Popov, expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and informed the Speaker that he had already presented his credentials to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Timothy Kabba, and would do the same with President Bio later in the week. He extended an invitation to Sierra Leone to observe Russia’s upcoming elections and conveyed President Putin’s commitment to enhancing multilateral relationships with African countries. Ambassador Popov discussed various areas of cooperation, including Russian scholarships for Sierra Leonean students, agricultural support, and plans to reestablish Russia’s permanent diplomatic mission in Sierra Leone.

The Ambassador also appealed for Sierra Leone’s support for Russia’s bid to review the Rome Statute, which established the International Criminal Court. He suggested that allowing Zelensky, the President of Ukraine, to address the African Union could strain Russia’s relations with African countries. Additionally, he clarified Russia’s military actions in Ukraine, contrasting them with what he described as Israel’s targeting and killing of unarmed civilians in Palestine.

In response, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu called for an immediate end to hostilities and the war between Russia and Ukraine, emphasizing the devastating consequences for weaker and smaller nations. He expressed support for reopening the Russian embassy in Sierra Leone and indicated the Parliament’s willingness to give legal status to any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) brought forward by the executive. He affirmed Sierra Leone’s support for the International Criminal Court and urged all parties to respect international laws and protect civilian populations. He appreciated Russia’s invitation for Sierra Leone to observe its elections and wished for a successful and peaceful election process.

This exchange highlights diplomatic dialogue and cooperation between Russia and Sierra Leone, as well as broader concerns regarding international conflicts and peacekeeping efforts.


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