AFRICA-RUSSIA: Russia assures new envoys of closer ties
MOSCOW,(CAJ NEWS) – RUSSIA is confident of fruitful relations with some countries in Africa as well as the alleviation of the civil strife besetting a number of countries in the continent.
This follows the Eurasian country recently accepting credentials from 15 new ambassadors to represent their respective countries in Moscow.
Among these emissaries from Mike Nicholas Sango of Zimbabwe, Maheshwarsingh Khemloliva of Mauritius, Nadir Yusif Eltayeb Babiker of Sudan and Valentin Nkuman Tavun Matungul of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
President Vladimir Putin said Russia was interested in enhancing mutually advantageous political, economic and military-technical cooperation with Zimbabwe.
“We are ready to develop industrial cooperation and to invest capital and technologies in country’s extractive industry,” he told Sango.
Last year, Russian investors started a new $US3 billion platinum mine about 50km north-west of Harare, the Zimbabwean capital.
The Russian project, where production is projected to peak at 800 000 ounces year, involves a consortium consisting of the Rostekhnologii State Corporation, Vneshekonombank, as well as investment and industrial group, Vi Holding, in a joint venture with some private Zimbabwe investors as well as the Zimbabwean government.
Putin said with regards to Mauritius, his country saw significant potential for developing friendly relations, particularly in the sphere of tourism, fishery and marine and air transport.
The two countries have recently expressed willingness to consolidate existing cooperation ties with enhanced opportunities in some areas of cooperation.
Discussions have focused on international issues, the ocean economy, tourism, trade and investment, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), education, sports, seafood, culture, technology transfer and capacity-building.
The possibilities have been encouraging with an increase in the frequency of air connections between Mauritius and Russia resulting in higher passenger capacity.
Russia has a tourist market of 42 million tourists but only 3 500 tourists visit Mauritius, a major torist destination.
In the meantime, Relations between Russia and the Sudan are developing in a constructive vein but political upheavals are seen scaring investors away.
“We intend to further assist in joint efforts to normalise the situation in Darfur, based on respect for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Sudan,” Putin told the Sudanese Ambassador.
Putin expressed optimism about peace efforts in the volatile DRC, where plans by the government of Joseph Kabila to postpone elections scheduled for next, seen by the opposition is a ploy by the incumbent to extend his rule beyond the expiry of his term.
“We are in favour of developing ties with the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
“Together with the international community we will continue assisting the people and leadership of the Congo in their efforts to reach internal peace and national accord and to strengthen their statehood,” Putin said.
Russia, the world’s biggest country by size, is lagging behind lagging behind such economic powerhouses as the United States and China in terms of a footprint in Africa.
Lack of credit support and investment guarantees from the Russian government and financial institutions have been cited as the major impediments for Russian companies willing to invest in the lucrative African continent.
Nonetheless, investors from that country have lined up in nuclear energy projects in a number of countries in Africa.
Over the past few years, the biggest country in the world by area has ambitious plans to invest in nuclear projects in Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia and Uganda.
– CAJ News
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