Russia welcomes the rising international authority of individual African states, as well as the continent as a whole, and their desire to make their voices heard, President Vladimir Putin said in an article released ahead of the second Russia-Africa Summit and Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg.
In the piece penned by Putin for major African media outlets and shared by the Kremlin early Monday morning, the Russian president said Moscow’s partnership with Africa has “strong, deep roots and have always been distinguished by stability, trust and goodwill.”
“We have consistently supported African peoples in their struggle for liberation from colonial oppression. We have provided assistance in developing statehood, strengthening their sovereignty and defense capability,” he wrote.
Moscow, according to Putin, has always adhered to the principle of “African solutions to African problems” and respected the “sovereignty of African states, their traditions and values, their desire to independently determine their own destiny and freely build relationships with partners.”
“We have never tried to impose on partners our own ideas about the internal structure, forms and methods of management, development goals and ways to achieve them,” Putin said.
The Russian leader added that he believes Africa will “finally free itself from the bitter legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism” and take its “worthy place” on the world stage. He promised to support the desire of African partners to “make their voices strongly heard and to take the continent’s problems into their own hands.”
“We are brought together by a common desire to shape a system of relations based on the priority of international law, respect for national interests, indivisibility of security, and recognition of the central coordinating role of the United Nations,” Putin wrote.
Moscow supports “granting African countries their rightful place in the structures that determine the world’s fate,” including the UN Security Council and the G20, and supports “reforming the global financial and trade institutions in a way that meets their interests,” Putin added.
The second Russia-Africa Summit is scheduled for July 27-28, taking place alongside the Economic and Humanitarian Forum, which is expected to provide a platform for business meetings and panel sessions. Forty-nine countries have confirmed their participation, according to Aleksandr Polyakov, the deputy director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Africa department.
The first high-level meeting, which was attended by nearly 50 African heads of state, was held in Sochi in 2019.