MOSCOW. – Russia is preparing for the second Russia-Africa summit, scheduled for October-November 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as it steps up its campaign to move closer to the African countries and pivot away from the West due to the latter’s extreme sanctions imposed after the start of the special military operation in Ukraine.
Russia was already heavily invested in Africa as part of President Vladimir Putin’s policy of fostering ties with the non-aligned nations of the developing world ever since relations with the West soured following Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.
But the need to develop deep trade and investment ties in Africa has been given a new urgency since the West has broken off almost all business ties with Russia.
Better relations with Africa are commercially important as Russia starts searching for new customers to buy its energy, grain and other commodities. But there is also an important political dimension as well as Mr Putin seeks to undermine US hegemony and to gain international recognition of his regime.
With a cornucopia of commodities and technology in some sectors such as nuclear power on offer, many African countries are willing partners.
The details of the summit will be decided in talks between the African Union, Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said at a meeting with the Speaker of Mozambique’s Assembly (parliament), Esperanca Bias, during an official visit to Maputo from May 30 to June 1.
The Russia-Africa Summit has been an important platform for promoting Russian interests on the continent and leaders from 48 of Africa’s 54 countries attended the first summit held in the Russian resort city of Sochi in October 2019.
It was co-chaired by the presidents of Russia and Egypt, Vladimir Putin and Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Egypt is a key Russian partner in North Africa, which imports 80 percent of its grain from Russia and Ukraine. – intellinews.com