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15 Jun, 2023 18:54

Russia-Africa contacts ‘more intensive than ever’ – Putin

The Russian president spoke after meeting with his Algerian counterpart in Moscow
Russia-Africa contacts ‘more intensive than ever’ – Putin

This is a special year for Russia’s relations with Africa, President Vladimir Putin told reporters at the Kremlin on Thursday, during a joint press conference with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune of Algeria.

“Our contacts with African countries are more intensive than ever and the president’s visit clearly shows it,” the Russian leader said.

Putin added that he will continue talks with Tebboune at the 26th annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), which began on Wednesday, and that he will meet with the leadership of several African countries to discuss their Ukraine peace initiative on Saturday.

The ‘Road to Peace’ proposal was announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa last month. According to media reports, the delegation will consist of the leaders of South Africa, Egypt, Congo, Senegal, the Comoros and Zambia. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Thursday that he will send a deputy, as he has tested positive for the coronavirus. 

Among the issues Putin and Tebboune discussed, according to the Russian president, were efforts to expand transactions in national currencies in order to “shield mutual trade from the impact of third countries and adverse developments on international foreign exchange markets.”

Moscow is also increasing the quota for state-subsidized university admissions for Algerian nationals by 30%, the Russian president said. Some 20,000 Algerians have received their education at Russian universities, and about 1,500 are currently studying in the country.

Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki also visited Moscow earlier this month, in what he described as an effort to “reinvigorate the partnership” with Russia.