Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday arrived in South Africa to participate in the summit of the BRICS group (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). On Wednesday, the leaders of the “five” will sign the eThekwini Declaration on new approaches to multilateral cooperation in the current global political and economic situation.
Head of the state corporation Rostec (former Russian Technologies) Sergei Chemezov was entrusted with a special mission in the presidential delegation, the Kommersant daily emphasises. Indeed, one of the most important issues of Putin’s visit to Durban is military-technical cooperation, the newspaper states.
According to a source of the newspaper in the Russian delegation, Russia is ready to begin the deliveries of the Su-30 multipurpose fighters to South Africa, also creating the system of the equipment’s after-sale service. In addition, Moscow on Tuesday was close to signing with Pretoria an agreement on the purchase of 60 helicopters for various purposes with subsequent increasing of the contract to 100 aircraft. However, on Tuesday the contract was not signed, but the two sides agreed to continue the negotiations outside the summit’s framework. At the same time, Russia and South Africa on Tuesday signed a package of documents on bilateral cooperation in the education, energy, transport, science and technology spheres.
On Wednesday, the sides will sign the eThekwini Declaration on new approaches to multilateral cooperation in the current global political and economic situation. And in the afternoon, the five leaders will meet with representatives of African countries.
The Vedomosti newspaper writes that BRICS countries occupy 30 percent of the world’s territory, and they are home to 45 percent of the world population.
“South Africa can become a window for BRICS countries to Africa,” the newspaper quoted South African the Ambassador to Russia Mandisi Mpahlwa. And currently BRICS countries are the main investors in Africa: the trade turnover by 2015 will exceed 500 billion US dollars, of which 60 percent will be Chinese investment.
Russia is capable of increasing its current trade turnover with South Africa (964 million US dollars), believes the newspaper.