Before the start of the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, Russian President Vladimir Putin emphasized his desire for deeper Russia-Africa cooperation aimed at fostering global peace, progress, and prosperity.
Putin reaffirmed the deep-rooted, stable, and trust-based relationships between Russia and African nations, highlighting the historical support of Russia towards African nations’ independence from colonial rule and aid in bolstering sovereignty and defense. He envisioned a forthcoming multipolar world order that he believed would be more equitable and democratic.
The Russian President expressed concerns over Western actions impeding Russia’s attempts to provide Africa with free food and fertilizer supplies under the Black Sea grain deal. He claimed that European countries unlawfully held back over 200,000 tons of fertilizers meant for Africa.
According to the Russian leader, despite these hindrances and the Western pressure, Russia would continue its grain, food products, fertilizers, and other essential supplies to Africa, both commercially and gratuitously. He cited that Russia exported 11.5 million tons of grain to Africa in 2022 and nearly 10 million tons in the first half of 2023.
Putin voiced his intent to broaden Russia’s ties with Africa, extending beyond economic relationships to cultural, educational, sports, and media cooperation. Notably, Putin highlighted Russia’s contribution to Africa’s human resources development, revealing that of the 35,000 African students in Russia, over 6,000 are on Russian government scholarships.
In his closing remarks at the summit, Putin emphasized the fruitful outcomes of their efforts, conducted in an atmosphere marked by mutual understanding, trust, and genuine friendship, a testament to the cooperative spirit between Russia and Africa.
He said, “We had a meaningful and interesting exchange of views on the entire range of strategic cooperation between Russia and African nations.”
The summit saw extensive discussions during plenary sessions, bilateral meetings, and thematic roundtables, focusing on pressing global issues, world economics, politics, food and energy security, sustainable development, and cultural-humanitarian cooperation.
Putin stressed identifying primary areas of mutual work, strategizing for future foreign policy coordination, expanding trade and investment, and fostering industrial cooperation between Russia and African nations.