SOCHI, October 24. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to activate economic ties with Rwanda, expressing his gratitude to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for attending the Russia-Africa summit in Sochi on his birthday.
During the meeting with Kagame, the Russian leader stated that the Russia-Africa summit is "a good opportunity to discuss the state and the prospects of bilateral cooperation and to exchange opinions on current African and international issues, namely in the context of the upcoming chairmanship of Rwanda in the East African Community." "Our intergovernmental relations have traditionally been friendly," Putin said, reminding of the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both states celebrated last year.
Putin stated that in 2018, bilateral trade between Russia and Rwanda grew by a third. "Even though the numbers are small, the trend is a positive one," the Russian leader said, noting that the participation of Rwandan representatives in the Russia-Africa economic forum should provide a boost to the trade-economic relations between both states.
Putin thanked Kagame for visiting Russia on his birthday. "The first day of the Russia-Africa summit coincided with your birthday. I would like to wish you good health, prosperity and success and to thank you for deciding to visit Russia despite this personal date," the Russian president addressed his Rwandan colleague, who celebrated his 62nd birthday on October 23.
Kagame thanked Putin for his wishes. "I would like to thank you for such warm, kind wishes," he said. "It is a great pleasure for me to be here on my birthday. I have pleasant memories of our meeting last year. We have managed to establish good relations between our countries," Kagame said, expressing hope that the sides will continue to enhance these relations.
Kagame congratulated Putin on the successful organization of the first Russia-Africa summit. He stressed that he is satisfied with its results, noting that the sides have signed several important agreements.
On October 23-24, the resort city of Sochi has hosted the Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egypt’s head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. All 54 African countries took part in the event, with over 40 of them represented by heads of state. Eight major African integration associations and organizations were also involved in the event. An economic forum took place on the summit’s sidelines, attended by the continent’s heads of state, as well as representatives of the business community and government agencies. The Roscongress Foundation is the organizer of the event, and TASS is the official photo host agency of the summit and economic forum.