President Vladimir Putin has hailed the growing partnership between Russia and Africa, saying he hopes to further boost cooperation with the continent.
In an address to the African Union (AU) summit, published on the Kremlin website on Saturday, Putin praised the AU as an “authoritative international structure,”playing a vital role in settling local conflicts, assuring stability, and strengthening ties between African nations.
“For Russia, African states have always been and remain important and reliable partners. We are united by the desire to build a just and multipolar world order, based on true equality and rule of international law, free from any form of discrimination, forceful dictatorship and sanctions pressure,” the Russian leader told the gathering, now underway in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
Putin also reiterated his invitation to African leaders to attend the second Russia-Africa Summit, scheduled to take place in St Petersburg this July.
The first such forum, held in Sochi in 2019, “created good conditions for intensifying our traditionally friendly relations, both on the bilateral level and on a multilateral basis,” he said. The event in St Petersburg should allow the sides to set new goals in expanding their cooperation further in various areas, the president added.
“I look forward to continued constructive joint work for the benefit of our countries and peoples, in the interests of ensuring peaceful and prosperous development of the African continent,” Putin wrote.
Relations between Russia and Africa have become closer during the conflict in Ukraine, as many nations on the continent have resisted Western pressure to condemn and sanction Moscow.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has made two African tours in less than a year, visiting Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of the Congo in summer, and traveling to South Africa, Angola, Eswatini and Eritrea a few weeks ago. --- RT