Preparations for second Africa-Russia Summit underway

by | Mar 30, 2021 | International | 0 comments

Hosia Mviringi

Preparations for next year’s Africa-Russia Summit have been launched in Moscow, at the instruction of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The second Africa-Russia summit to be held in 2022 in the resort city of Sochi, Russia, is a follow up on the inaugural summit which was held in the same city in October 2019.

The organising committee of the event, which comes every third year, included among notable figures, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Advisor to Russian President of the Russian Federation, Anton Kobyakov, Ambassador-at-Large in the Foreign Affairs Ministry and Head of Secretariat of the Africa-Russia Partnership Forum, Oleg Ozerov, and Chairman of the Africa-Russia Partnership Forum, Alexander Stuglev.

The committee met on 29 March 2021 in Moscow to discuss prospects for further development of relationships with African states by way of following up on resolutions of the first summit which was held on 24 October 2019.

Addressing the preparatory meeting of the forthcoming Africa-Russia summit, President Putin noted that the first summit “gave a strong momentum to the development of friendly relationships between the Russian Federation and African countries.

Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Russia Mr Sergei Lavrov gave the indication that the summit is already being prepared and filled with meaningful content, and that roadmaps for African-Russian economic, scientific and humanitarian cooperation are to be drafted shortly.

The Africa-Russia summit was established as a way to counter a unipolar world socio-political and economic system, which was established and forced onto world nations by the West led by the US. This is in line with goals enshrined in one of the 2019 resolutions, which read;
“Develop an equitable dialogue taking account of the interests of African States and the Russian Federation based on multilateral world order, (one which is not dominated by a single power and system. A world that is run on consensus under auspices of the UN.
Oppose revision of the universally recognised principles and norms of international law and the UN Charter, as well as the practice of adopting unilateral measures and imposing approaches that undermine common interests of the International community in general”.

This resolution recognises the need to keep the US in check and to collectively counter such actions as the unilateral imposition of sanctions and punitive measures against member states of the United Nations without the necessary UN consensus and approval.

Many countries in the world and Africa, Zimbabwe in particular are victims of US unilateral sanctions that have become commonplace among those countries who don’t submit to US international hegemony.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa attended the inaugural Summit in Sochi, he was accompanied by business executives from Zimbabwe, who were eager to strike deals with Russian investors.

It is at this summit that President Mnangagwa had a chance to meet with some of the biggest investors who are already invested in Zimbabwe in the Mining and manufacturing subsectors of the economy, and to solidify business commitments with potential investors.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Zimbabwe in March 2018 in a rare high level visit by a Russian government official, in a vote of confidence in rapidly growing relations between Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation, in such areas as mining, commerce, defence and security, tourism and energy.

Russia, the same as China, are firm believers of politics of non-interference in domestic affairs of sovereign nations.
“We insist that African problems need African solutions, and the international community should respect the Africans’ choice of resolving a conflict, and support them morally, politically and financially in training staff for peacekeeping operations, which Russia has been actively doing,” said Lavrov as set out to visit other African States then.

Russia is an influential member of the BRICS economic block which include Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

The Russian Federation wields immense influence in the UN Security Council, with the power to veto UNSC decisions.
This is a powerful economic block that could rival such regional blocks as the European Union, thus providing an alternative market for African goods and a source market for affordable finance and foreign investment.

The Russian Federation wields immense power in the United Nations Security Council, which allows it to exercise veto power to stop any adverse UN decisions.

In July 2008 Russia together with China used their veto power to avert full scale UN sanctions on Zimbabwe for perceived human rights violations emanating from anger by those opposed to the land reform.