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Envoy: Russia ‘repeatedly’ asked Ethiopia to consider Egypt’s concerns over dam

July 26, 2023 at 10:32 am

A view of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on February 19, 2022 [Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency]

The Russian Ambassador to Cairo, Georgy Borisenko, said his country has contacted Ethiopia “several times” and urged it to take into account Egypt’s concerns regarding Addis Ababa’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Russia has addressed its Ethiopian partners several times in order for them to take into account the Egyptians’ concerns about the dam, and we told them that they should remember the rightful concerns of our Egyptian friends, and it is necessary to find mutually beneficial solutions,” Borisenko said during an interview on MBC Egypt 2 which aired yesterday.

The Russian envoy said Moscow fully understands Egypt’s position on the dam and knows that the Nile waters play an existential role in the lives of Egyptians.

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He explained that the Ethiopians are not in a hurry to fill the dam,  adding that “they are doing it, but in a slower way, as they mentioned before, and we hope that they understand that it is necessary to have a serious dialogue with all the surrounding countries.”

Regarding the Dabaa nuclear power plant being constructed by a Russian company in Egypt, Borisenko said the work was not delayed, explaining that it would take 15 years to build it.

He added that the Dabaa plant is expected to be in full production by 21 February 2030, pointing out that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi approved in December 2020 a timetable for the rest of the construction process, while the Russian nuclear energy company is working diligently to complete it ahead of the deadline. The nuclear power plant will be made up of four reactors, which will all be in the construction phase by the end of this year, he added.

“We are optimistic, and we hope that if things go smoothly, the nuclear power plant will be fully operational by the end of winter 2030,” he added.

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