BY RICHARD DRASIMAKU
KAMPALA: TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2022
President Yoweri Museveni has defended Uganda’s neutrality in the face of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, stating that Russia has never hurt Uganda and that the country could not be switched on auto mode to turn against Russia.
“How can we automatically be against those who have been with us for the last 100 years?” Museveni asked in a statement.
“We have forgiven those who did bad things to us and we are working with them, how about those who have never harmed us?” Museveni continued, posting on a popular social media platform embraced by the world.
The president of Uganda was giving hints of a bilateral discussion he held with the minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov, at State House, Entebbe.
Museveni welcomed Lavrov to Uganda and emphasized that Russia has been supporting the anti-colonial African movement of African countries for the last 100 years.
He commended Russia for the long standing relationship with Uganda during that period.
Pointing to the need to improve Uganda’s economic standing, Museveni said Uganda wants to trade with every country in the world including Russia.
“We want to trade with Russia. We want to trade with all countries of the world,” he clarified, and added: “we don’t believe in being enemies of somebody’s enemy. No! we want to make our own enemies, not fight other people’s enemies.”
Lavrov is visiting Uganda on the third day of an African tour that has also taken him to Cairo in Egypt and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
During those stop overs, the Russian diplomat has consistently emphasized the importance of strengthening Russia’s cultural and economic ties with the African countries.
Many African states have taken a neutral stand in the Russia-Ukraine war, calling for negotiation to end the conflict.