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24.03.2005 General News

Russia to strengthen bilateral ties with Ghana

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Accra, March 24, GNA - The Russian Embassy in Accra on Thursday announced diplomatic mechanisms to improve and strengthen bilateral ties between Ghana and Russia.

The mechanisms include constant interaction with the Ghanaian media, business community, politicians, governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as photo-exhibitions and lectures to open up the Russian world, Mr Valery Orlov, Russian Ambassador to Ghana, stated at the initial meeting with Journalists in Accra.

He said there was growing Russian business interest for the establishment and development of trade and economic ties with Ghanaian partners.

"Many Russian companies are looking for ways of cooperation with the Ghanaian business community ...the two countries must exploit and take advantage of the new development."

Mr Orlov lauded the Russian and Ghanaian parliaments for establishing a common platform, which had culminated in visits to both countries by parliamentarians and business delegations, and formation of the Ghana-Russia Business Association (Chamber of Commerce). The Ambassador said scholarships to Ghanaian for graduates and post-graduates studies in Russia had been increased by 50 per cent for the 2004 - 2005 academic year.

On Russia's policy direction to Africa, Mr Orlov said his country had intensified political dialogue with African states. "We have common positions and approaches on key aspects of the international agenda, including the building of a just and democratic world order, strengthening of the central role of the United Nations, the fight against terrorism and extremism and counteraction to other new challenges and threats," he said.

Russian Federation, Mr Orlov noted, continued to offer African states broad preferences in the field of trade, consistent with the alleviation of the debt burden of poor countries. Between 1998 and 2004, Russia wrote off 11.307 billion dollars of the debt of African countries.

He said there were other concerted efforts to step up trade and economic links with African countries especially those south of the Sahara.

He said Russia was also contributing to the development of an overall strategy for the settlement of conflicts on the Continent, mandating of peacekeeping operations and establishing task forces for post-conflict reconstruction.

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