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March 1, 2024
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President Putin at the 2nd Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit in St Petersburg, Russia

Russia reorienting its transport, logistic flows to Africa, says Putin

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By Ikenna Uwadileke

Russian President, Vladimir Putin says Russia is reorienting its transport and logistics flows to the Global South, including Africa.

Putin said this at the ongoing 2nd Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Summit in St Petersburg, Russia.

“The North-South transport corridor that we are building is designed to provide Russian products with access to the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean, with further connections via the shortest sea route to the African continent, among other regions.

“Naturally, this corridor can be used in reverse to deliver African goods to Russia,’’ he said.

Putin further said that connecting the North-South transport corridor with Africa, lunching regular freight lines and opening a Russian transport and logistics hub in a port on the eastern shore of Africa “could be a good start of our cooperation’’.

According to him, we consider it extremely important to expand the network of direct flights to Africa and to contribute to the development of the railway network in the continent.

“These are the most important goals of our time that we invite our African friends to tackle together,’’ he said.

The president also expressed Russia’s interest in strengthening ties with regional economic integration associations and structures in Africa.

“For example, we support establishing cooperation between the Eurasian Economic Union – a major integration project and Russia is part of it – and the African Continental Free Trade Area within the African Union.

“We are also ready to share with our African partners our experience in promoting integration between Russian and Belarus within the Union State.

“ We want to show our African partners what we have to offer on the key aspects of integration such as removing barriers within a single market, the operation of free trade areas, coordinating agricultural, industrial policies and in other sectors too.

“I am convinced that this comprehensive cooperation, both in bilateral and multilateral settings, will enable us to expand our economic ties with Africa in terms of both quality and quantity.

“I would also like to draw your attention to the fact that bilateral intergovernmental commissions have proven their worth in promoting economic and humanitarian cooperation,” he said.

While saying that Russia has the commissions with only a third of African countries, Putin said there are 18 of them for 54 countries.

“In this context, we suggest that the interested African countries who have yet to join this format should think about working with us to establish these commissions.

“It goes without saying that we are ready to move in this direction and believe that this would be beneficial.

“We are also ready to expand the network of our trade missions in Africa and have more economic advisors, as well as attaches for agriculture, education, research and ICT,’’ the president said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the summit which started on July 27 will end on July 28.

NAN is one of the media partners of the Russia-Africa Summit 2023 and its Managing Director, Mr Buki Ponle, is also attending the event.  (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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