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The president of Chad Idriss Deby met with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Moscow.
The Russian leader congratulated Deby on his success in stabilizing Chad, saying that Russia was closely monitoring the country’s security situation.
“We are glad that it was possible to hold a referendum on the constitution,” Putin said during the brief televised meeting. “I am confident that the elections will be held at a high level in the near future. We are glad that you have managed to stabilise the situation in the country.”
For his part, Deby offered his condolences to Putin following a plane military plane crash earlier on Wednesday in the Belgorod region of Russia near Ukraine.
The plane was carrying 74 people on board, including 65 Ukrainian prisoners of war due to be swapped. All were killed, according to the governor of the Belgorod region Vyacheslav Gladkov.
“I would like, on my own behalf and on behalf of the people, to express my sincere condolences for these deaths and those of the soldiers,” said Deby.
Deby has led Chad since 2021, when he took power in a coup, following the death of his father, long-serving president Idriss Deby.
While Chad has been seen to be a last bastion of French influence in the region, against a trend of growing Russian influence, the meeting in Moscow is a sign that Putin may be moving to build ties with the Sahelian country.
The meeting comes a week after Niger’s prime minister visited Moscow, resulting in an agreement to develop military ties.