As many dear readers will know by now, I like to comment about matters which do not always hit the headlines in Ukraine, let alone the headlines about Ukraine by the international media.
Why would you read this blog if all you wanted was the MSM, often inaccurate, deadline necessary, rushed ruminations of a hack towing an editorial line, that has spent no more than a metaphorical 5 minutes in Ukraine (if at all)?
So whilst distracted by the language law issues in Ukraine, which as yet is not law because it has not been signed, many other laws are rapidly being fired through their RADA readings prior to the holidays, albeit they are also unsigned. Some of them rather dubious and many badly written – unsurprisingly. I may well return to the laws on cashless transactions or leased land and State procurement, pushed through without much media notice in a few days time.
Anyway, away from the RADA and also completely unnoticed in the past two days, The Republic of Sudan and the Government of Ukraine made some significant moves to increase bilateral trade and relations over and above the nefarious and distasteful relations that have previously existed. I refer to the Yushenko/Tymoshenko government which was caught red handed sending hundreds of tanks via Kenya to Sudan between 2007-09. A time of severe civil strife in Sudan. This despite their international assurances they weren’t sending tanks to Sudan!
As we know, in 2011, South Sudan became independent after the years of civil turmoil.
Anyway, Ali Ahmed Katri, Foreign Minister, has just been in Kyiv with the Ukrainian Prime Minister. The upshot was a plan to increase the trade between nations by a multiplier of 10. No those 100′s of tanks are not to become 1000′s. The upshot is construction projects, agricultural projects and exports, transportation, mineral extraction and education.
It should be noted that there are thousands of African students at Ukrainian universities and Sudan (North and South) are no exceptions to this.
What is most striking is that some of the agreements made are not simply deliveries but will involve long term Ukrainian presence on the ground in South Sudan. Indeed, it is reported that Ukraine and Sudan have already given an assenting nod over new gold and other metals extraction in Sudan requiring a permanent Ukrainian presence.
Taken into consideration with the already very good relations and trade with Turkey, Egypt and other African nations, is a quiet and yet determined expansion of Ukrainian interests in Africa about to become more apparent?
Let’s see how long it is before a South Sudanese embassy appears in Ukraine amongst the indicators from a newly created nation as a statement of intent. After all, with almost 200 nations to choose from when you are only 1 year old, Ukraine would not be high on the list for many nations with regards to diplomatic and trade presence at governmental level unless you want to display a statement of intent early on.