Despite international sanctions and the consequences from the COVID-19 outbreak, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that economic transaction between Russia and African countries climbed by about 35% in the first half of 2023.
Putin stated during a trilateral meeting with the African Union Chairperson, President of the Union of Comoros Azali Assoumani, and Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat that “despite the difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic and the imposition of illegal sanctions against Russia, it was possible to ensure the growth in the pace of trade and economic ties” with African countries.
Last year, Putin added, “the volume of mutual trade amounted to about 18 billion dollars.”
“In the first half of this year, trade turnover increased by almost 35%,” Putin said.
“Russia continues to be a stable provider of food to Africa,” he noted, noting that Russian exports of this category of goods totaled 4.7 billion dollars in 2022.”
Some African leaders have arrived in Russia for a summit with Putin as he seeks friends in the midst of the military action in Ukraine, while the Kremlin has accused Western powers of “outrageous” measures to convince other African heads of state not to attend.
Putin has framed the two-day summit in St. Petersburg, which begins Thursday, as a big gathering that will help strengthen ties with a continent of 1.3 billion people that is becoming more aggressive on the world arena.
During the discussion, Azali Assoumani assured Putin that they would “not close our eyes to the issue between Russia and Ukraine, because these are two countries with which we have partnerships, and we can see the negative consequences around the world, particularly in Africa.”