Russian FM Lavrov to Make Two Trips to Africa in January-February to Visit Eight Countries
14:24 GMT 30.11.2022 (Updated: 14:41 GMT 30.11.2022)
The visits come in preparation for the second Russia-Africa Summit in July 2023.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov may make two visits to the African continent in January-February of 2023 and visit eight countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Wednesday.
“Two trips of the foreign minister to Africa are coming in January-February, visits to eight countries are planned now, and plus Morocco — there is bilateral communication with the foreign ministers of Arab countries, including, of course, the Arab countries of North Africa,” Bogdanov said during press conferences dedicated for the preparation for the second Russia-Africa Summit in July 2023.
Meanwhile, ambassador-at-large of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum Oleg Ozerov announced that the agenda of the second Russia-Africa Summit will be more extensive than the first, including a block of humanitarian cooperation.
“We sent out invitations to all participants, but the main task is to reach a productive summit. Of course, we count on the representative participation of African delegations of the highest and high levels,” he said.
30 November 2022, 12:14 GMT
Ozerov added that this time, the program will include political, trade, economic, investment, scientific, technical and humanitarian cooperation.
“We proceed from the fact that the summit should have an extensive humanitarian program - science, education, culture, the role of the media, sports… I think this is one of the main directions… This is due to the fact that the Africans themselves pose questions to us that are related to humanitarian cooperation,” the diplomat said, adding that topics of food and energy security, as well as healthcare, will be raised at the summit.
The official argued that most African countries view Russia both as "an ally fighting the neo-colonial domination of the West" as well as an alternative market to the US and the EU. He added that the summit is set to discuss creating new tools and mechanisms for cooperation.
“We also consider it necessary to address the issue of food, energy security, and healthcare,” Ozerov said. “Russia has something to offer - both grain and fertilizer... In addition to energy, there are other industries in which Russia can offer its expertise - oil and gas, transport infrastructure, aviation and automotive, computer technology, agriculture.”