”I am happy for such warm and hospital reception… My presence here means the first step on the long path of our joint work in the future. We will work together with the Russian Federation, and this is why I am here,” he said during the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, on Thursday.

He underscored that Juba sees no alternatives to friendship with Moscow. “We will work together with Putin and the Russian Federation. The situation in the world today shows that it is impossible to survive, to achieve success alone, and our country is no exception,” TASS quoted Kiir as saying.

He added that as the youngest nation on this planet, South Sudan must have the most influential friends, Putin being one of them.

Kiir stressed that South Sudan see no alternatives to being friends with Putin. President Kiir’s visit to Moscow comes at a time when Russia and Western powers are trying to woo African support in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.