Nigeria Contemplates Signing Military Cooperation Deal With Russia 

Yemisi Izuora

There are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari is giving thought to sign a military technical cooperation deal with Russia as both Buhari and President Vladimir Putin schedules to meet this month.

The cooperation aims at fighting Boko Haram militants, Nigeria’s ambassador in Moscow said on Friday.

Buhari, is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea city of Sochi amid a push by Moscow to expand its influence in Africa.

“We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience combating Islamic State in Syria,” Nigerian envoy Steve Ugbah said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency.

He added that Nigeria was interested in purchasing Russian helicopters, planes, tanks and other military equipment.

Ugbah said a military technical cooperation deal between Russia and Nigeria had already been drafted and that it only needed to be finalised.

“We hope president Buhari can take the talks to their logical end … The agreement will open new possibilities in such areas as the supply of military equipment and training for specialists,” he said.

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