|Putin: Continuity in change|
|Friday, 11 May 2012 00:00|
powers and for its international policy, especially towards Africa?
A lot has been done in the recent years to build a strong democratic country in which law and social justice rule, a country that guarantees its citizens’ security and gives its people every opportunity for self-realisation and for business, civil, and creative initiative.
In foreign policy, Russia’s recent achievements include the signing of the New START treaty, a “reset” of the Russia — United States relations, as well as increasing Russia’s co-operation with the BRICS-countries and Russia’s admission into the WTO in 2011.
As South Africa joined the club it gives a perfect opportunity for BRICS countries to further contribute to the socio-economic development in Africa both on bilateral and multilateral levels, especially in southern Africa and Zimbabwe in particular.
Certainly, Russia is not a newcomer in Africa. Historically, we have been inseparably connected with many countries of the region. Our support was one of the determinant factors contributing to the victory of national liberation movements in Africa.
movements in Southern Africa, namely Zimbabwe.
Russia has no hidden agendas in the region. Our state does not aim to forge covert military alliances that would threaten anyone’s security. On the contrary, we look forward to intensifying diversified multilateral economic and political co-operation with all the countries that show such willingness.
Russia and Africa need each other. Most African countries and Russia are committed to the idea of a multi-polar world, and consider that the UN should play the central role in this multi-polar world. The states of the African continent constitute about a quarter of the members of the UN, while Russia is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and the UN is an arena in which Russia and Africa collaborate fruitfully.
Today’s Russia welcomes the continent’s efforts to establish the foundations for collective security, including through creating its own peacekeeping capability. We also value greatly Africa’s consistent policy of intensifying political and economic integration through the African Union and other sub-regional groupings.
Africa Partnership Forum proved once again that Russia and most African countries share a common view on that. We are certain that with Putin’s leadership the traditional Russia-Africa relationship will reach a new stage, with a re-engagement in multi-dimensional political dialogue. This now provides new impetus for building more diversified relations with the African countries and Zimbabwe in particular.