24 Jun 2009

Russian president on visit to Egypt and Africa

12:17 pm on 24 June 2009

President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia is in Egypt at the start of a four day trip to Africa.

Mr Medvedev is due to sign a nuclear energy deal in Egypt, which is Russia's top trading partner in the continent.

The BBC reports Russia is keen to extend its influence in Africa partly for strategic reasons, but also because it is looking for new trading partners.

After his two-day visit to Egypt, Mr Medvedev will head to Nigeria, where Gazprom wants to secure contracts to build pipelines.

In particular, the giant gas company is interested in a proposed Trans-Saharan pipeline, which would deliver Nigerian gas to Europe.

Mr Medvedev will then travel to Namibia and Angola.