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25 Jun, 2009 06:31

Dmitry and diamonds: Russia’s president signs more deals in Namibia

President Dmitry Medvedev has arrived in the Namibian capital Windhoek on the next leg of his African tour where he is eyeing deals in diamonds and energy.

He has already agreed to invest billions of dollars in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, and in Egypt he signed cooperation agreements.

Russian flags have been raised all over the capital of Namibia since it is the first time in the country’s history that a Russian leader is paying a visit.

Namibia’s Prime Minister said bilateral economic cooperation will be the focus of the talks:

“On the practical level, we literally speak the same language. No problems there. What we have to move towards to, in my view, is towards economic cooperation, towards trade and towards investment which will benefit both of our peoples,” told RT Nahas Angula, Namibian Prime Minister.

Namibia is rich in minerals, diamonds, and other natural resources. Several deals are expected to be signed, including the one between Russia’s Gazprom Bank and the Namibian National Oil Corporation.

Namibia is the third African country that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is visiting on his tour. Egypt was his first stop, where he met his Egyptian counterpart. The two heads of state signed several deals including a strategic partnership treaty which is aimed at boosting trade, military and technological cooperation.

The Russian president also visited Nigeria, which is Russia’s second-large economic partner in sub-Saharan Africa. A number of deals have been signed there as well, all of them aimed at strengthening economic ties. Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation formed a joint venture and Gazprom plans to invest as much as $2.5 billion. Nigerian authorities have already named it “the biggest deal Africa has ever made with a foreign partner.”

Early on Friday Dmitry Medvedev will head to Angola, which is going to be the final point of his trip. There he will meet with the Angolan president. Many deals and documents are also awaiting their signature. Bilateral trade and cultural contacts, including education, will top the agenda during the talks in Angola’s capital Luanda.

Medvedev is being accompanied by a large number of Russian businessmen and, according to presidential aid Sergey Prikhodko, this trip has been on the president’s schedule for quite some time.