Russia and Eritrea expanded their diplomatic relationship Friday when Moscow announced plans to build a logistics center at a port in the East African country.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov disclosed the plans at a meeting with a high-level delegation from Eritrea, according to RIA, a Russian state-owned news agency.
The scope, location and timeline of the project have not been announced, but the diplomatic development is an important milestone for both countries, each of whom has sought to expand its bilateral ties.
For Russia, it’s the latest effort to forge alliances with countries in Africa, following multiple trips to the continent this year by Lavrov to discuss military, economic and diplomatic partnerships.
In late August, Russia signed a military cooperation agreement with the Central African Republic. That deal focuses on training armed forces in the CAR.
For Eritrea, a deepening Russia alliance is the latest sign that decades of isolation may be ending, after a historic peace deal in July with neighboring Ethiopia. Since that agreement was signed, Eritrea’s president, Isaias Afwerki, has met with leaders from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Somalia and South Sudan. He’s also received delegations from Japan and Germany.