Moscow has forgiven $23 billion in African debt – Putin
The Russian government has written off over $20 billion of debt historically owed by African nations, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday, speaking at a plenary session of the Russia-Africa forum in St. Petersburg.
He said Moscow would also allocate more funds to help with the development of the continent.
“The total amount of debt of the African countries written off by Russia amounts to $23 billion dollars with another $90 million to be allocated for the same purposes,” Putin stated, with reference to historical trade and finance links between Moscow and Africa.
On Thursday, the president said Russia would provide hard-pressed countries on the continent with free grain. Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somali, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea will each receive between 25,000 and 50,000 tons of grain, while Moscow will cover the delivery costs of the shipments.
In March, the Russian leader highlighted the growth of mutual trade between Russia and African countries, saying it could open up additional opportunities for the process of establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Launched in 2021, the AfCFTA is expected to become a continental market with a total GDP of more than $3 trillion, making Africa one of the leaders of the multipolar world. According to Putin, Russia is in favor of establishing ties with AfCFTA both through the Eurasian Economic Union and on a bilateral level.
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