MOSCOW, July 8. /TASS/. Russia has offered its technical assistance to the countries involved in the dispute over Ethiopia’s construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. He was speaking after talks with the foreign ministers of the troika of the African Union (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, South Africa) that were held in a video format.
"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 said.
"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," he said.
Lavrov recalled that, as part the discussion of the dam construction in the UN Security Council, Russia had urged sooner agreement on mutually acceptable approaches based on existing norms of the international law envisaged for such cases and taking into account the interests of all parties involved.
Since 2011, Ethiopia has been implementing a project on construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile. The dam is supposed to become the largest in Africa, consisting of 15 radial-axis hydraulic units. The capacity of the hydroelectric power station will be 5,250 MW. Addis Ababa intends to put it into operation in 2022-2023. The project cost is $4.6 billion. Implementation of this huge project would enable Ethiopia to provide the country with electricity and also to export to neighboring states. Egypt and Sudan suspect that the project might cause the level of water in the river to go down, affect fair water distribution and even cause drought.
On July 3, the SUNA Sudanese news agency reported that Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan had resumed negotiations on this issue at the level of ministers of irrigation and water.