The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Russian Federation commemorated Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary in Moscow, on 1st October, 2022. H.E. Prof. Abudullahi Shehu, Ambassador of Nigeria to Russia with concurrent accreditation to Belarus was joined by officials of the host Foreign Ministry, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and International Organizations, Captains of Industries, and members of the Nigerian Community in Russia to celebrate the auspicious event.
In his remarks, Ambassador Shehu informed of the great strides Nigeria has accomplished since gaining independence in 1960, which includes leading the fight for the decolonization of the African continent, promoting peace and stability in the West African region and taking a leading role in the African Union. Particularly, he commended the efforts of the current Administration, led by H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari for working assiduously to ensure the continuation of the institutionalization of core democratic values, tackling corruption and insecurity and re-positioning the Nigerian economy.
Furthermore, Ambassador Shehu re-affirmed the subsisting cordial and warm relations between Nigeria and Russia which has existed since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries in 1960. He noted the two nation’s shared aspirations mutual respect, strategic partnership and effective collaboration which have yielded dividends in various sectors, including political, economic, cultural and education.
Continuing, he recalled the role played by the Soviet Union during Nigeria’s darkest chapter between 1967 and 1970. He stated that the support extended to Nigeria by the Soviet Union was a major reason Nigeria maintained her unity, which she still enjoys several decades after.
Ambassador Shehu also apprised that Nigeria has a strong Bilateral Education Agreement with the Russian Federation which has seen thousands of Nigerian students study in the USSR and now, in Russia. He stated that Nigeria currently has over 2,500 students studying in various Institutions across the Russian Federation, some of whom are benefiting from joint scholarships from both nations.
He informed of the cordial friendship the Embassy has with its host Foreign Ministry which was evident by the presence of Mr. Tkachenko Vsevolod Igorevich, Director for the Department of Africa, representing H.E. Mikhail Bogdanov, Bogdanov, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation.
Concluding, he affirmed the need for both nations to continue the spirit of friendship and collaboration which has over the years characterized their relations and to always expand political dialogue in the pursuit of international peace and security.
Responding, Mr. Igorevich conveyed the best wishes of H.E. Mikhail Bogdanov, Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Adviser of the President on Middle East and Africa, to the Embassy, Government and people of Nigeria on the commemoration of Nigeria’s 62nd Independence Anniversary. He confirmed the cordial relations shared by both nations and expressed optimism for improved and deepened relations in the years ahead.
He stated that Russia has always seen Nigeria as a strategic partner as the most populous country in Africa and also being the biggest economy on the continent. Mr. Igorevich reiterated the readiness of the Russian Federation to improve economic relations with Nigeria for the benefit of both countries.
Finally, he expressed his heartfelt appreciation to H.E. Prof. Abdullahi Shehu for maintaining friendly ties between both nations and assured of the Foreign Ministry’s disposition towards all issues that concern the Embassy.
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
2nd October, 2022