On the sidelines of the work of the summit, the Head of State, Colonel Assimi Goïta, will meet the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin and other African Heads of State. He will also attend the parade of the Russian Navy on the banks of the Neva river
The President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta, is expected, today in the morning, at the international airport of Saint-Petersburg by the Russian authorities and the Malian diplomats posted to the Russian Federation. President Goïta will take part, on Thursday and Friday, in the Russia-Africa Summit and the Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum which will be held in Saint-Petersburg, the beautiful city in the north of the Russian Federation alongside some forty leaders of African state and government.
The agenda of the President of the Transition is very busy in the great Russian metropolis. He will speak at the opening and closing ceremonies of two events (Thursday and Friday). The audience with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will be marked by a decoration of the host of the summit by Colonel Goïta. Audiences with African heads of state are also on the program of President Assimi Goïta’s visit.
It is also expected that the President of the Transition will attend the parade of the Russian Navy on the banks of the Neva river. A meeting is also scheduled with the Malian community living in Russia. Other temporary meetings will be held with certain ministers and their Russian counterparts or with Russian officials as part of strengthening the partnership with the Russian side. Several economic operators, executives of technical structures and Malian universities are also present in Saint Petersburg. This will be an opportunity for them to lead panels on the diversification of cooperation with Mali.
The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, in a message published last Monday in several African media including L’Essor, explained the challenges of the second Russia-Africa Summit, after that of Sochi in 2019. The host of the summit said first of all specified that the partnership relations between his country and Africa will be a priority in the decades to come. He then recalled that these partnership relations are solid and deep-rooted and have always been characterized by stability, trust and benevolence.
“Russia has always supported African countries in their fight against the colonial game. It has strengthened the institutions, strengthened their sovereignty and their defense capacity. Several hundred infrastructures and industries have been built in some African countries with the participation of Russian specialists in several fields such as power plants, irrigation systems, industrial and agricultural enterprises which are functional for some. In addition, thousands of African doctors, engineers, military officers and teachers have been trained in Russia”, recalled the Russian head of state, highlighting the invaluable support of Soviet Russia to the newly independent African states.
35,000 AFRICAN STUDENTS- President Vladimir Putin also recalled the traditionally close collaboration on the international scene, the firm and consistent protection of the interests of African countries in international forums by the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ( USSR) and presented by Russia.
This country has always respected the principle of “African solution to African problems” and has stood in solidarity with Africans in their struggle for self-determination, justice and the defense of their legitimate rights. “We have never attempted to impose on our partners our own ideas about their internal structure, forms and methods of management, development objectives and ways to achieve them. Our respect for the sovereignty of African states, their traditions and values, their desire to define their own destiny and freely build relations with their partners has remained intact,” the Russian President recalled.
The host of the summit reassured that his country will continue to supply African countries with cereals on a commercial basis and free of charge, despite the sanctions imposed and especially that this year, Russia is expecting a record harvest. He also promised to intensify the university, technical and technological training of African students, who currently number 35,000, 6,000 of whom benefit from scholarships granted by Russia. This figure will increase in the coming years as inter-university and commercial training will be intensified.
The Russian Federation will raise humanitarian, cultural, sports and media cooperation to a consistent level. The Russian President has already invited young Africans to take part in the World Youth Forum which will be organized in March 2024 in Sochi. This large-scale meeting will bring together young people and will be an opportunity to maintain an informal friendly dialogue, free of all ideological and political barriers, racial or religious prejudices.
President Vladimir Putin said he was very enthusiastic to welcome his counterparts with whom he is willing to have fruitful and constructive talks and communication.
This article is originally published on maliweb.net