Bilateral Relations

Bilateral Relations


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. In December 2016, Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs Hirut Zemene held a series of meetings at the Russian Foreign Ministry.

In March 2018, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S.Lavrov paid a visit to Addis Ababa, where he was received by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalen and President Mulatu Teshome, and held talks with Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu. 

In September 2019, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the FDRE Gedu Andargachew visited Moscow, where he held talks with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov. In October 2019, the first Russia-Africa Summit took place in Sochi, attended by the delegation of Ethiopia, led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who held talks with President of Russia Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Summit. In December 2019, the 10th meeting of the Russian-Ethiopian working group on military-technical cooperation was held in Moscow.

Trade and economic relations between our countries are regulated by the Agreement on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and the Trade Agreement of November 26, 1999. According to Ethiopian customs statistics, the foreign trade turnover of Russia and Ethiopia in 2018 amounted to $ 89.1 million and increased by 36.5% compared to 2017.

The Russian Federation supplies Ethiopia with mineral fertilizers (56%) and grain crops (40%). Import from Ethiopia is dominated by agricultural products (91.4%) like coffee, oil-seeds and pulses, vegetables and flowers. In 2018, the trade surplus with Ethiopia amounted to $ 33.8 million.

In October 2019, the 7th meeting of the Intergovernmental Russian-Ethiopian Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation and Trade (IPC) was held in Addis Ababa. Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of science, technology and higher education was signed.

There is a growing interest of Russian companies (GPB Global Resources, Inter RAO - Export, Russian Railways, KamAZ, UAZ) in developing cooperation with Ethiopia.

In April 2019, the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation “Rosatom” and the Ministry of Innovation and Technology of the FDRE signed a Roadmap on the development of cooperation in the field of peaceful use of nuclear energy. In October, an intergovernmental Agreement on cooperation in the field of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy was signed on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, which includes the creation of a joint Russian-Ethiopian Center for Nuclear Science and Technology in Ethiopia.

The Russian Center for Science and Culture (Pushkin Center) as well as a hospital of the Russian Red Cross (Balcha Hospital) operate in Addis Ababa. About 300 Ethiopian citizens study at national universities, half of them are on state Russian scholarships.

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.

The dialogue between the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) resumed. In May 2018, the visit of the Patriarch of the EOC Abuna Matias to Russia took place. During the visit, the Patriarch met with His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, visited a number of higher educational institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church, churches and monasteries in Moscow and Moscow Region. An agreement was reached on the establishment of a bilateral commission for dialogue between the ROC and the EOC. In January 2019, the first meeting of this commission was held in Addis Ababa. In early October 2019, the Russian Orthodox Church organized a press tour in Ethiopia to attend Meskel religious festival and visit local shrines in order to popularize pilgrimage tourism to the country.

The Russian community in Ethiopia is about 300 people.

There is a visa regime between Russia and Ethiopia for national passports. All types of visas are issued at the Embassy of Ethiopia, a tourist visa can be purchased upon arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport.

The Ambassador of Russia to Ethiopia Evgeny E. Terekhin (presented his credentials on May 30, 2019), and is also the Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian Federation to the African Union.

The Ambassador of Ethiopia to Russia – Alemayehu Tegen Argau (presented his credentials on July 4, 2019).