Russia keen to boost multifaceted ties with Africa: Putin-Xinhua

Russia keen to boost multifaceted ties with Africa: Putin

Source: Xinhua| 2023-07-28 05:29:45|Editor: huaxia

ST. PETERSBURG, July 27 (Xinhua) -- Russia is genuinely interested in deepening multifaceted trade, investment and humanitarian ties with Africa, which would meet the needs of all countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday.

The president made the statement at his opening speech during the plenary session of the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum within the framework of the second Russia-Africa Summit.

Putin noted Africa's remarkable development throughout the years, outlining the continent's rapid economic growth, and growing population.

"I would like to note that Russia-Africa trade reached 18 billion U.S. dollars last year. I have no doubt that by working together we will be able to increase out trade substantially in the near future," the Kremlin said, citing Putin at the session.

The Russian leader further stressed the importance of uninterrupted food supplies to African countries.

"Russia exported 11.5 million tons of grain to Africa in 2022, and almost 10 million tons in the first six months of this year alone," Putin said, adding that these deliveries were possible despite the sanctions imposed against Moscow.

He noted that Western countries were "obstructing the supply of Russian grain and fertilizers," while "hypocritically" accusing Moscow of creating a global food crisis.

Putin said Russia will continue supplying grain to African nations.

"In the next three to four months, we will be ready to provide, free of charge, a supply of 25,000-50,000 tonnes of grain each to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic and Eritrea," Putin said, adding that delivery would also be free.

The Russian leader added that progress has been made in joint agricultural, energy and industrial cooperation, saying more than 30 joint energy projects are currently being implemented in 16 African states.

He also underscored the importance of developing financial cooperation, adding that it is essential to transition to settlements in national currencies in mutual trade, which will facilitate cross-border payments despite restrictions imposed by Western systems.