Putin claims that Russia cancelled $23 billion of African debt.
President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that Russia has wiped off $23 billion in debts owed by African nations.
Speaking at the second Russia Africa summit in St Petersburg, Putin said that 90% of the debts owed by African nations had been cleared, with certain financial responsibilities remaining but no longer any “direct” loans.
According to Putin, Russia’s interest in Africa is continuously expanding, as seen by plans to bolster its diplomatic presence there.
“This is a really practical step to significantly intensify work with African countries in the political, business, humanitarian, cultural, and tourism spheres,” he said.
According to him, Moscow also favors increased presence of African nations in the Security Council and other UN bodies.
Everyone will have to take into consideration that Africa is becoming a new center of power due to its expanding political and economic influence he added.
In order to illustrate the continent’s expanding political influence, Putin mentioned the African peace proposal for Ukraine. This speaks volumes, he continued, since traditionally all mediation missions had been monopolized by nations with so-called established democracies.
‘Legacy’ of colonialism is a barrier to Africa’s progress.
According to Putin the legacy of the colonial past and the West’s divide and rule approach are to blame for the continued instability in many African areas.
“A lot of colonialism’s remnants still exist; former metropolises still engage in these practices. The monopoly of certain nations in the financial, technological, digital, and food industries is intolerable and has to be challenged, he added.
He said that terrorism, the rise of radical ideologies, international crime, and piracy all impede the development of the continent.
“Russia also offers its cooperation in addressing these dangers.
We are interested in seeing the Russian Federation and African nations’ special services and law enforcement organizations work together closely. We are certain that Russian specialized educational institutes will continue to teach military troops and law enforcement officials from African nations, he added.
According to Putin Russia has agreements for military technological cooperation with more than 40 African countries and has also given them a range of weapons and equipment.
He said that some of these items were provided without charge to help these governments maintain their sovereignty and security.
The issue in Libya was also brought up by Putin, who stated: “It is important to achieve genuine national unity, to prevent the territory of Libya from becoming a zone of confrontation between third states.”