NAIROBI, October 7. /TASS/. A group of lawmakers from Russia’s upper house of parliament is planning to make an official visit to Kenya.
The delegation led by Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko will meet Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta and hold talks with counterparts in the Kenyan parliament. Discussions are expected to focus on Russian-Kenyan relations and inter-parliamentary cooperation of the two countries. The programme of the visit includes meetings with Kenyan Senate Speaker David Ekwee Ethuro and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.
Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said the Kenya trip was aimed at strengthening Russia’s inter-parliamentary ties with African nations.
"Russia’s return to Africa is a topic which should certainly have a parliamentary dimension. And in our understanding - and we often hear it from our partners - the parliamentary dimension in this return to Africa is still lagging behind the political one," Kosachev said, adding that parliamentarians should be more active to improve the situation.
"I can say that by the end of the year, another trip by a Federation Council delegation will probably be organised to the African continent, but it is still being prepared," he told journalists.
As for Kenya, it is one of the biggest countries in Africa, "the country that takes fundamental and consistent positions on most international issues which are quite similar to the Russian ones", Kosachev said.
Inter-parliamentary cooperation between Russia and Kenya has been quite fruitful in recent years. In May 2012, during an official visit to Russia by Kenya’s parliamentary delegation, the sides signed an agreement on cooperation between the Federation Council and the National Assembly, which served as the unicameral legislature of the country until 2013.
In September this year, a delegation from the Kenyan Senate’s National Security and Foreign Relations Committee led by Chairman Yusuf Hajji visited Moscow.