Africa capitalizing on Western exit from Russia – official
Russia’s trade with African countries has risen substantially this year, the Federal Customs Service revealed on Thursday.
According to the service’s interim head, Ruslan Davydov, the continent has so far accounted for 3.7% of Russia’s foreign trade in 2023, up from 2.3% last year, which represents an increase of about 30%.
Speaking at the Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg, Davydov pointed out that Russia’s largest Black Sea port, Novorossiysk, has seen a 29% increase in container traffic in the first half of this year compared to the same period last year. African countries have significantly contributed to the rise, the official said.
“It is quite obvious that the space vacated by ‘unfriendly’ countries is being filled quickly by nations that are ready to cooperate, including African countries,” Davydov stated.
The Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum opened in St. Petersburg on Thursday. Delegations from 49 African countries, 17 of which will be led by their respective heads of state, will attend the two-day event, according to the Kremlin.
The delegations will discuss a wide range of issues, from trade and joint projects with Moscow, to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the fate of the internationally brokered deal to allow grain shipments from Ukrainian ports.
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