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Kenya urges Ukraine, Russia to swiftly resolve of border issue

30 April 2014, 09:18

Nairobi - Kenya on Tuesday urged Ukraine and Russia to peacefully resolve border issues that has sparked tension between the two countries.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said Kenya respects territorial integrity of sovereign states and urged all other nations to do the same.

"Kenya therefore remains hopeful that Ukraine and Russia will settle the ongoing dispute peacefully," Mohamed said in a speech read on her behalf by Director Foreign Service Administration at the ministry, David Mutemi.

Mutemi was speaking during a farewell luncheon for outgoing Ambassador of Ukraine Volodymyr Butiaha in Nairobi.

Mohammed's comments came as tension is rising as pro-Russian insurgents have been especially active in eastern Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

She said Kenya and Ukraine enjoy warm and cordial relations both at bilateral and multilateral levels. This, she said, is exhibited most in the area of education, where Ukraine continues to provide scholarships to Kenyan students to study in Ukrainian institutions of higher learning.

She hoped that the bilateral cooperation will extend to many other areas and called for speedy conclusion of bilateral agreements which have been pending with a view of exploring avenues of enhancing cooperation in various fields of common interest such as security, trade, energy, investment, agriculture, livestock, sports, industry, immigration, and health.

The balance of trade was hugely in favor of Ukraine with 2013 statistics showing the total volume of Ukrainian exports to Kenya amounted to 143 million U.S. dollars, while Kenya was able to export goods worth to 10 million dollars.

Mohamed believed tremendous unexploited potential remains for the bilateral trade, and urged Ukrainian investors to take advantage of Kenya's ideal investment opportunities,especially in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, ICT, mining as well as the emerging oil and gas sector.

"I have a personal connection with this cooperation as I was a beneficiary of the scholarship program offered by the former Soviet Union that enabled me to study at the University of Kiev," Mohamed said.

 - Xinhua

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