MOSCOW, October 16. /TASS/. Moscow has a lot to offer to African countries in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters when asked if the upcoming Russia-Africa Summit meant that Moscow sought to challenge China and the Western countries on the African continent.
"This is not about competition but about mutually beneficial cooperation. Russia has always been present in Africa, as it is a very important continent. Russia has a lot to offer to African countries in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation. Russia traditionally maintains very close relations with many of these countries," the Kremlin spokesman pointed out.
However, Peskov refrained from comment as to how many African leaders had confirmed participation in the summit. He just pointed out that some countries would be represented by their heads of state, while other delegations would be led by prime ministers and foreign ministers.
Russia’s Black Sea resort city of Sochi will host the first-ever Russia-Africa Summit on October 23-24. The leaders of all the 54 countries of the continent have been invited to the event, and more than 40 of them have confirmed their participation. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt will co-chair the summit. An economic forum involving heads of state, state officials, businessmen and regional organizations is set to take place on the summit’s sidelines.