Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that Moscow has offered to provide technical assistance to Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia regarding the Grand Renaissance Dam.
“The United States also offered its services to them. Several meetings took place in the United States, and we welcomed the progress that has been made. It is now encouraging that the parties have some time ago to speed up contacts between the relevant ministers,” Lavrov said after a virtual meeting with the foreign ministers of the African Union (AU) Troika.
“We offered the participants of the conflict our assistance, in particular technical assistance. There are things that can be useful. They know about it,” Lavrov added.
Lavrov added that Russia called, during the Security Council discussions on the Renaissance Dam, for negotiations to conclude as soon as possible based on the existing international laws which govern such cases and taking into account the interests of all parties concerned.
Ethiopia started building the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in 2011 on the Blue Nile, a tributary of the Nile River, near the border with Sudan.
The construction of the 147-meter (482 feet) high, 1.8-kilometre (1.1-mile) long project is expected to be completed by 2023.
With a reservoir capacity of 74 billion cubic metres, the hydroelectric dam will produce 6,475 megawatts for Ethiopia’s domestic and industrial use, as well as export to neighbouring countries.
The dam is the centrepiece in Ethiopia’s bid to become Africa’s biggest power exporter, but has sparked concerns in Cairo that Egypt’s already scarce supplies of Nile waters, on which its population of more than 100 million people is almost entirely dependent, would be further restricted.