Rabat – Russia’s government has expressed its desire to develop cooperation with Morocco at various levels in different fields, including trade and the fight against COVID-19.
The Russian government voiced its determination through its Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev during the preparatory meeting for the 8th session of the Morocco-Russia Joint Commission for Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation.
The Russian minister co-chaired the video conference meeting along with Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita.
During the meeting, Bourita recalled that relations between Morocco and Russia received a strong impetus after King Mohammed VI’s visits in 2002 and 2016 to Moscow and the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Morocco in 2006.
Patrushev emphasized his country’s decision to boost cooperation.
The two officials reviewed the legal framework and agreements in the finalization stages, which will “help facilitate cooperation in high-potential sectors” through eliminating factors that slow the development of trade between the two countries.
Bourita recalled that Morocco was Russia’s second Arab partner and its third economic partner at the African level.
Trading Economics announced that Morocco’s exports to Russia amounted to $286.51 million in 2019.
During the same year, Morocco’s imports from Russia stood at $1.36 billion.
During the meeting, the Moroccan FM extolled the “frequent and sustained and constructive exchanges” between executives from Morocco and Russia regarding COVID-19 challenges, economic opportunities, as well as cooperation in the field of health.
In September, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) signed a deal with Moroccan pharmaceutical manufacturer Galenica to produce the Russian COVID-19 vaccine locally.
Dmitry Patrushev welcomed the agreement during his talk with Bourita, anticipating the delivery of 8 million doses of the vaccine during the first half of 2021.
Morocco seeks to secure sufficient doses of COVID-19 vaccines due to the continuous surge of cases since March.
In November, Minister of Health Khalid Ait Taleb said that Morocco is participating in multicenter vaccine trials for the first time.
He said that Morocco also plans to secure doses of Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine.
The minister said that Rabat is diversifying its supply market to secure enough doses for its population as vaccines are a “scarce commodity.”
As of December 2, Morocco recorded a total of 364,190 COVID-19 cases, including 314,237 recoveries and 5,985 deaths.