Russia and Africa ready for Inter-Parliamentary Conference
Russian legislators plan to use the forthcoming Russia-Africa inter-parliamentary conference scheduled for July 3, this year, to discuss effective ways of strengthening Russia-African relations – focusing on business opportunities.
More than 30 African countries would be attending the conference in Moscow, signaling African governments renewed interest in developing business ties that could foster greater economic engagement and investment in sustainable development on the continent.
The agenda of the meeting include discussion of legislative support of trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation between Russia and African countries, and the exchange of legislative experiences.
Ahead of the conference, the Chairman of the State Duma, Viacheslav Volodin, said “strengthening relations with African countries, including humanitarian, trade and economic cooperation, is one of the priorities.
“The development of inter-parliamentary relations should intensify cooperation between our countries.
“We propose to move from intentions to concrete steps, and our peoples will better understand each other through parliamentary relations. It is necessary to take certain steps together to work on the African continent.”
He added that Russia was eager to build stronger relations through parliamentary framework, and help to create an incentive for Russian businesses, saying, business representatives “need support, they need confidence, and this confidence parliaments will have to provide”.
“We have great expectations for the Russia-Africa inter-parliamentary conference, which we are planning to hold in 2019. In our opinion, it will serve as a stimulus and initiate some processes aimed at the development of relations between our parliaments.”
“We hope that our dialogue will be open, cooperation will be based on the principles of mutual benefit and the absence of double standards. We believe that interference in the affairs of sovereign states is unacceptable, only relations based on the principles of friendship, mutual support, and benefit, built on dialogue can have a future,” Volodin said.
Deputy Chairwoman of the State Duma, Olga Timofeeva, stressed that the mutual interest of Africa and Russia was growing.
“In recent years, with its demographic and economic potential, Africa has become a new world center for global development. Russia has great potential, and there are still a lot of connections that we can tune up with you,” said the parliamentarian.
She also said that there were seven friendship groups with African countries in the State Duma, and were ready to work within new formats of interaction.
Her expectation was that the meeting would become the basis of “our long-term cooperation”.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Mikhail Bogdanov, said his country regards Africa as an important ally in the protection of international law.
“Russia regards Africa as an important and active participant in the emerging polycentric architecture of the world order and an ally in protecting international law against attempts to undermine it.”
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Rwanda to Russia, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya appreciated efforts to use conference platforms to exchange views on common problems and common issues.