In Putin’s own words

23 October 2019 | Economics

The Russian news agency TASS conducted an interview with president Vladimir Putin ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit, a copy of which was provided to Business7 by the Russian embassy in Windhoek.

Below are some of Putin’s quotes:

T: What is Russia's biggest competitive advantage that you will present to the heads of delegations at the summit?

P: We do not make our support and joint development projects which we offer contingent upon the fulfilment of political or any other preconditions or so-called 'exclusive', but in fact enslaving trade and economic preferences; we do not impose our views, respecting the principle of ‘African solutions to African problems’ proposed by the Africans themselves.”

T: Is Russia ready for tough rivalry in Africa, say, with China or the US?

P … where there are promising prospects for investment and profit, there is always competition, which, unfortunately, at times goes beyond the bounds of decency.

We are not going to participate in a new ‘repartition’ of the continent's wealth; rather, we are ready to engage in competition for cooperation with Africa, provided that this competition is civilised and develops in compliance with the law.

We do not ally with someone against someone else; and we strongly oppose any geopolitical ‘games’" involving Africa.

T: Does Russia plan to resume the practice of providing loans to African countries?

P: Let me point out that in the post-Soviet period, at the end of the 20th century, Russia cancelled US$20 billion of African countries' debts to the Soviet Union.

… today these loans are market-oriented.

T: Are there any plans to enhance military technical cooperation between Moscow and African countries?

P: It is encouraging that military technical partnership continues to evolve vigorously. What’s more, African countries often initiate such cooperation themselves …

T: What help is Russia ready to provide to settle conflicts across the continent?

P: An important element of Russia's interaction with African countries is regional security cooperation.

In demand is the practice of training military and law enforcement personnel of African countries, including at a reduced cost and free of charge.

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