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Russia determined to enhance strategic partnership with Africa — ambassador to US

According to Anatoly Antonov, the summit in St. Petersburg is being organized "in a complicated geopolitical environment during the drastic changes in global politics and economy"

WASHINGTON, May 24. /TASS/. Africa has the potential to be one of the leaders of the multipolar world which is currently being formed, and Russia is determined to enhance its strategic partnership with countries of the continent, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Tuesday.

"We view today’s event as an important contribution to the preparations for the second Russia-Africa Summit which will take place in St. Petersburg in July and will determine development of relations between our nations for the years to come," Antonov told the Russia-Africa gala evening at the Russian embassy in Washington.

He assured that "ties between Russia and African states have an intrinsic value and are not aimed against anyone."

"We are firmly committed to developing strategic partnership with our African friends, work together to promote fair and equal relations, improve mechanisms of mutually beneficial economic ties," Antonov went on. "Through our joint efforts, the continent will become one of the leaders of the emerging multipolar world order. We will counter the neocolonialist ideology that is being imposed by the others."

Geopolitical challenges

According to the Russian diplomat, the summit in St. Petersburg is being organized "in a complicated geopolitical environment during the drastic changes in global politics and economy."

"Some western states would prefer to prevent the formation of a more just world order. They desperately defend the flawed concept of a world based on their rules, exert off-hand political and diplomatic pressure on others, including the Africans," the ambassador continued. "Russia is preparing for the summit in the most serious way. We will be glad to welcome leaders of all the African states and heads of regional organizations. We do not make any exceptions."

In his words, the key idea of the event is enhancing the sovereignty of the African countries and consolidating their role in global affairs.

"President Vladimir Putin is open to bilateral contacts and talks with all the partners on the sidelines of the upcoming high-level forum," Antonov said.

Support for Africa

"We believe that African states must be treated decently and equally," the Russian ambassador continued. "Back in its time, the Soviet Union contributed significantly to the struggle against colonialism, racism and apartheid. Our country rendered assistance to the nations in gaining and defending their independence. And now Russia continues the policy of all-out support for the African states."

"We advocate for a broader representation of the African states in international fora, first of all in the UN Security Council and G20," he added. "We continue defense cooperation, including supply of Russian armaments and equipment to African partners and training of the military personnel."

The second Russia-Africa Summit and Economic Forum are twin events that are slated to take place in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg on July 26-29. The inaugural event was held in Russia’s Black Sea resort of Sochi on October 22-24, 2019.