The Commander in Chief of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces Gen Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday Commissioned into the flight the First ever overhauled and upgraded Russian Type helicopter in sub-Saharan Africa at the Pro Heli Plant International Services Limited at Nakasongola Airbase.
“In 1986 I sent the late Kategaya to buy MI 17 from the Soviet Union, but soon after the Soviet Union collapsed during the time of Gorbachev and Yeltsin there was chaos. When Putin took over, he stabilized the country. I want to congratulate President Putin for stabilizing Russia and strengthening it again,” he said.
Gen. Museveni who on arrival toured one of the hangers at the facility led by Mr. Valari Copcin, the CEO of PRO Heli International Services Ltd, said that there was no contact with the Russian partners so offered himself to travel to Russia as a tourist to revive the relationship with the Russians.
“You couldn’t get anything from Russia, there was no contact. I worked with the UN Office on a private visit. I said I want to revive this relationship. I went as a tourist and met the current Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the former Prime Minister. That is when I bought the SUKOI,” Gen Museveni further noted that there was no convergence of interest as there was no problem between Russia and Uganda as well as the African continent.
General Museveni also commended the Managing Director of NEC, Lt. Gen. Mugira for the initiative to follow up on the project noting that many ideas are always conceived but end up getting aborted because they are not supported.
“Normally these ideas come but they are not grown by those who are concerned, they die,” he noted.
The President further said he has often indicated in writing to the Western partners how the world should be run not through rivalry but through cooperation.
“We don’t want this nonsense of rivalry, what are you rivaling for, we have got enough problems to solve as a human race. It should be through cooperation and respecting the internal issues of countries. How can you have the whole world thinking the same way”, he wondered.
“I am glad to have commissioned the first overhauled MI-24 helicopter at the Nakasongola facility.
This is another example of our excellent and long-standing relations with Russia, based on a convergence of interests that continue to bear logical dividends for Africa and Russia.
I thank the Russian government for not objecting to our cooperation but for supporting it. I also thank NEC Luwero Industries for enthusiastically taking advantage of this goodwill and building this capacity.” Museveni tweeted.