The diplomatic relations between Russia and Ethiopia were established in 1898, interrupted in 1917 and resumed in 1943.
The USSR assisted Ethiopia in implementing a number of industrial and infrastructure projects, carrying out various geological exploration works. More than 20.000 Ethiopians graduated from Soviet universities, 5.000 specialists received vocational training in our country.
The regime change in Ethiopia in 1991 as well as the breakup of the Soviet Union resulted in the scaled-down bilateral cooperation. The revival of the political dialogue between two countries started in the mid-1990s. In December 2001 Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia paid an official visit to Moscow signing the Declaration on principles of amicable relations and partnership.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited Russia in 2013 for G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg. In 2014 Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation was in Addis Ababa for a working visit. In 2015 Kasa Teklebirhan, Speaker of the House of Federation of the FDRE visited Moscow.
In January 2016 Mikhail Bogdanov, Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation had a meeting with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn on margins of the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa. A high-level governmental delegation from Ethiopia headed by Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen was on a working visit in Russia in March 2016 aimed at developing scientific and technological cooperation between two countries. Ethiopian Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom met with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow in April 2016. The 8th meeting of the Russian-Ethiopian working group on military and technical cooperation took place in Addis Ababa in November 2016. Hirut Zemene, State Foreign Minister of the FDRE, held ministerial consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov in Moscow in December 2016.
The legal foundation for bilateral economic relations consists of Agreement on economic, scientific and technical cooperation and Trade Agreement signed on November 26, 1999. The Russian Federation wrote off Ethiopian public debt to the amount of $1.1 billion in 2005.
The bilateral trade turnover reached $157.6 million in 2016 that is 137% higher than in 2015. Russian export multiplied by 2.7 and amounted to $144.3 million whereas Ethiopian export remained at its level of $13.3 million.
The Russian Federation supplies Ethiopia with mineral fertilizers (56% of total export) and grain crops (40%). Import from Ethiopia is dominated by agricultural products like coffee, oil-seeds and pulses, vegetables and flowers.
The Intergovernmental Russian-Ethiopian Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technical Cooperation and Trade conducted six meetings, the last of which took place in Addis Ababa in March 2017. During the course of the Meeting two Memoranda of Understanding on cooperation in the field of tourism and culture were signed. On margins of the event the Co-Chair of the Commission Evgeny Kisilev, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment and Head of the Federal Subsoil Resources Management Agency met with Motuma Mekasa, Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Resources as well as with Hirut Zemene, State Minister of Foreign Affairs.
GPB Global Resources (subsidiary company of Gazprombank) is undertaking exploration works on oil and gas in Afar region in northeastern Ethiopia. The company’s office operates in Addis Ababa. Russian companies Inter RAO Export and Rosatom are considering the opportunities to develop joint energy projects in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s capital hosts Russian Center for Science and Culture (Pushkin Center) and Russian Red Cross Balcha Hospital. More than 300 Ethiopian citizens study in Russian universities, more than half of them – through the system of state grants. In 2016/2017 our country assigned 28 scholarships to Ethiopian students.
Russian Academy of Sciences and Ethiopian Ministry of Science and Technology signed Agreement on science and technical cooperation in 2012 providing for Joint Ethiopian-Russian Biological Expedition to continue its work in the country which started in 1987.
Russian community in Ethiopia is around 300 people.
Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union – Vsevolod Igorevich Tkachenko (credentials presented on August 21, 2014).
Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to the Russian Federation – Grum Abay Teshome (credentials presented on May 31, 2015).