MOSCOW, August 23. /TASS/. Ethiopia is discussing the crisis in the Tigray region with the Russian side at various levels and is grateful to Russia for its position on this issue, Ethiopian Ambassador to Moscow Alemayehu Tegenu Aargau said in an interview with TASS.
"Yes, we have discussed this issue with the Russian side at different levels of the government hierarchy. We are very much satisfied with the position taken by the government of the Russian Federation on so many issues," he said, adding that Ethiopia was sincerely thankful for this.
According to the diplomat, Russia understands very well that the conflict in Tigray is a domestic problem that should be resolved by the Ethiopian government without any external interference. He added that if anyone wanted to get involved it should be done "by paving a conducive environment to solve the problem" and not by negating the government’s efforts and supporting terrorist groups since some had "been caught red-handed under the disguise of humanitarian aid recently."
The ambassador also noted that Addis Ababa is satisfied with Russia’s position on the situation around Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD). "The Russian Federation has made it abundantly clear that the three countries (Ethiopia, the Sudan and Egypt) have the capability to solve the problem by talking to each other in good faith and the AU-led negotiation is the only way out," the ambassador said, noting that Ethiopia agrees with Russia’s position on this issue. "We do believe that there is no other alternative than negotiating within the existing arrangement," he concluded.
Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that Russia was urging the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front to declare a ceasefire. Moscow also urged the international community and regional organizations to support the Ethiopian government in settling the situation in Tigray in order to establish peace in the region and restore normal life for its residents. The spokeswoman added that the Ethiopians themselves should play a decisive role in settling the internal Ethiopian conflict with the assistance of the African community.
In mid-July, the militants of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front launched an operation against Ethiopia’s federal troops crossing Tigray’s southern administrative border and entering the neighboring states of Amhara and Afar. The rebels are trying to control the main transportation routes in order to contain the actions of the federal forces. In early August, the federal forces supported by Amhara’s militia troops, launched a counteroffensive gaining ground in a number of directions.