Abiy Ahmed’s Risky Friendship with Putin
By Elias Dawit 03-30-21
In an alarming spee ch made in English at the Russia-Africa: Reviving Traditions Conference last week, Abiy Ahmed told the U.S. in the strongest terms that Ethiopia considers its former ally to be interfering in its sovereignty. Recent efforts by the U.S. to encourage the Ethiopian leader to put an end to the war against Tigray and allow humanitarian access have alienated the Ethiopian leader so much so that he has made an abrupt turn to Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation.
The Ethiopian leader has tried a variety of tactics to, in the words of Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dina Mulfti, “[explain] its position so the friendly United States government would better understand it and study the issue.” Said Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, Abiy Ahmed, in his meetings with Senator Chris Coons, tried “to shed light on the confusions that the U.S. Government previously had about the military operation in the region.”