Nigeria/Russia military deal on the cards


Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari hopes to sign a military technical co-operation deal with Russia during talks with President Vladimir Putin this month to help fight Boko Haram militants, Nigeria’s ambassador in Moscow said.

The Nigerian leader is due to meet Putin on the side-lines of a Russia-Africa summit in Sochi amid a push by Moscow to expand Russian influence in Africa.

“We’re sure 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 Nigeria was interested in purchasing Russian helicopters, aircraft, tanks and other military equipment.

Ugbah said a military technical co-operation deal was already drafted and only needed to be finalised.

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