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Africa Interested in Partners, Russia Should Intensify Cooperation, Senator Says

© Sputnik / Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the mediabankDeputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev at the Primakov Readings international scientific and expert forum in Moscow.
Deputy Chairman of the Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Konstantin Kosachev at the Primakov Readings international scientific and expert forum in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.12.2022
The highest house of the Russian parliament believes that western opponents of Moscow will likely interfere with the participation of African countries in the second Russia-Africa summit, scheduled to take place next summer.
African countries are interested in external partners and Russia has the opportunity to easily step up its efforts in this direction, argued Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev.
"In Africa, they are interested in external partners, in external investors. It is clear that many of our geopolitical competitors realized this reality before us, [and they] began earlier," the politician noted during a round table meeting on the implementation of the strategic interests of the Russian Federation on the African continent in the current global situation.
According to the lawmaker, the turnover figures speak for themselves. He cited data according to which the EU's trade with African countries is about $300 billion, China's is about $150 billion, and the US' is $50-60 billion.

"Although we have a tendency to increase trade, the volume of it is about $20 billion. Moreover, the gap between our successes, and we have them, and the results of our geopolitical competitors are not closing," Kosachev said.

At the same time, the senator noted that it is enough for Russia to simply increase its activity in Africa's direction, there are a large number of objective prerequisites for this. In particular, he said it is the case of public opinion in African countries, where the population remembers the role played by Russia in the continent's decolonization.

“This is also the preservation of political will in a number of countries of the continent to develop relations with Russia," Kosachev said, noting that that graduates of Russian and Soviet universities occupy the top offices in some African states.

However, he argued that in cooperation with Africa, it is precisely the systematic work to build partnerships that should be carried out. Although the ministries, intergovernmental commissions and the Russia-Africa forum are actively working, he noted that "this is not yet forming into some kind of purposeful and long-term strategy."

He emphasized that two more serious points of Russian efforts in the African direction have now appeared. These are the organizing committee for the preparation of the Russia-Africa summit and the mechanism for regular interdepartmental meetings in the government, which are held by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk, Kosachev said.
"Two meaningful, in my opinion, meetings were held in July and November of this year. Based on the results, specific instructions were given to departments," Kosachev concluded.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov speaks to the press following his meeting with the Sudanese president in the capital Khartoum on March 16, 2019. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2022
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