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Moscow forgave more than $20 bln of Africa’s debt to Russia, says Putin

The Russian president stated that Moscow consistently supports the development of the African continent

SOCHI, October 23. /TASS/. The total amount of African countries’ debts to the Russian Federation that Moscow has written off, has already exceeded $20 bln, President Vladimir Putin said at a plenary session of the Russia-Africa Economic Forum on Wednesday, adding that Moscow consistently supports the development of the African continent.

"We provide trade preferences, cooperate within the framework of international structures, for example, through the World Food Program, International Civil Defense Organization and World Health Organization. Our country participates in the initiative on African countries’ debt relief. As of now, the total amount of debt relief exceeds $20 bln," he said.

Joint programs that envision the use of borrowed funds for financing national economic growth projects have been launched together with a number of African countries, Putin added.

He noted that a busy agenda is planned within the framework of the forum, adding that particular ideas and proposals regarding promising areas of the Russian-African cooperation will be presented to participants. Thus, heads of Russian companies together with Economic Development Ministry "have prepared presentations of key Russian competences that open new possibilities for economic cooperation," Putin said.

On October 23-24, the resort city of Sochi is hosting the Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The leaders of all 54 African countries have been invited to come, and at least 40 of them have confirmed their participation. Eight major African integration associations and organizations are also involved in the event. On the summit’s sidelines, an economic forum is taking place, in which the continent’s heads of state and representatives of the business community and government agencies participate. The Roscongress Foundation is the organizer of the event, and TASS is the official photo host agency of the summit and economic forum.