Uganda established diplomatic relations with Russia in October 1962. In 1964, the USSR and Uganda signed a trade agreement and an agreement on economic and technical cooperation, which provided for a loan of 14 million rubles to Uganda. Uganda and Russia have often supported each other on many international issues of mutual concerns. There is no doubt that both nations enjoy strong political relations but there are other areas which need to be enhanced further particularly in economic and trade spheres. Uganda has always looked at Russia as a partner in scientific and technological cooperation as Russia is very much advanced in these areas.
Uganda was one of 17 African nations to abstain during a vote in March on a UN resolution that overwhelmingly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Lavrov's trip comes hot on the heels of a landmark deal Russia and Ukraine signed on Friday with the United Nations and Turkey, which is aimed at relieving the global food crisis caused by blocked Black Sea grain deliveries. Uganda relies on wheat exports from Ukraine and Russia to supplement its local food sources. Russia supplied 33% of Uganda’s wheat in 2020, while Ukraine sent 17%, according to COMTRADE, a UN trade data collection agency.
As relations with the West have collapsed over the conflict, Lavrov said Africa would play a greater role in Russia's foreign policy. Museveni also said Kampala would cooperate with Moscow in a range of fields including space, energy, agriculture and vaccines.
Lavrov praised what he described as “the responsible and balanced position taken by Uganda and other African states”, accusing the West of displaying a colonial mindset by demanding that Africa adopt an anti-Russian stance. This chimed with Museveni’s remarks, in which he drew heavily on historical events to explain his preference for staying on good terms with both Russia and the West.
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and Uganda’s Museveni have had a good decade of increasing communication and cooperation. The Kremlin is a key supplier of Uganda’s equipment, technology and knowledge transfer in the military sector. Uganda has been trying to attract Russian private investors. Last year, Russia's Joint Stock Company Global Security was awarded a 10-year contract to install a digital monitoring system in all motorcycles and vehicles in Uganda.