President Vladimir Putin has praised the increasingly strong partnership between Russia and Africa, expressing his desire to enhance cooperation with the continent.
In a speech delivered at the African Union (AU) summit, which was published on the Kremlin website on Saturday, Putin commended the AU as a “respected international organization” that plays a crucial role in resolving local conflicts, ensuring stability, and strengthening ties between African nations.
“African states have always been and will remain important and reliable partners for Russia. We share the goal of building a fair and multipolar global order based on genuine equality and respect for international law, devoid of any type of discrimination, forceful dominance, or sanctions pressure,” stated the Russian leader at the meeting, which is currently taking place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital.
Furthermore, Putin reiterated his invitation to African leaders to attend the second Russia-Africa Summit, which is scheduled for this July in St Petersburg. The first such gathering, which took place in Sochi in 2019, “created good conditions for intensifying our traditionally friendly relations, both on a bilateral and multilateral level,” he added. The summit in St Petersburg will enable the two sides to establish new targets for expanding their cooperation in various sectors, the President added.
“I am eager to continue our productive cooperation for the benefit of our countries and people, with the goal of ensuring the peaceful and prosperous development of the African continent,” Putin wrote.
During the Ukraine conflict, relations between Russia and Africa have grown closer, as many nations on the continent have resisted Western pressure to condemn and sanction Moscow. In less than a year, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has made two trips to Africa, visiting Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda, and the Republic of the Congo in the summer, followed by visits to South Africa, Angola, Eswatini, and Eritrea a few weeks ago.