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Thu, 24 Oct 2019 19:15 - Updated Thu, 24 Oct 2019 19:25

President wishes more intense cooperation with Russia

Sochi - Angolan President João Lourenço admitted on Thursday in Sochi that the partnership between Russia and Africa has not yet reached the desired levels, and promised to work to help ensure real economic cooperation.

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Speaking at a formal meeting with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit, the Head of State said that exchanges between Africans and Russians are already taking place, but more intense economic cooperation is intended.

"We are not just looking for help, but in the first place we are conducting real economic cooperation between our states," he said.

According to João Lourenço, there is great potential on both sides to be achieved and will therefore seek to prioritize the strengthening of this partnership during his tenure.

On the other hand, the President of the Republic welcomed the holding of the first Russia-Africa Summit of Heads of State and Government (which ends tonight), which he considered "very important" for the strengthening of Russian-African relations.

He acknowledged the help of the Russians in the liberation of African countries, underlining that today the continent is largely free thanks to the commitment of the former Soviet Union.

He regretted, however, the fact that Western Sahara was still in a situation of political dependence, which he considered "unfortunate".

In his turn, the President of Russia thanked Angola for attending the summit and the Russia-Africa Economic Forum, taking place in Sochi since Wednesday.

President Putin said that Angola remains an important partner for his country, stressing that Russian state-owned companies are already working to materialize the agreements signed at the time of João Lourenço's state visit to Russia last April.

The European power has based its cooperation with Africa in various areas of expertise, with emphasis on the energy, security and diplomacy sectors.

As part of its foreign policy, it increased the trade balance with African countries from US $ 5.7 billion in 2009 to US $ 20.4 billion in 2018.

Russia consolidates its cooperation with African countries through a strong focus on the energy sector, where it has extensive experience, investments in oil and gas, and nuclear  expertise.

It also offers relatively cheap military cooperation and weapons to countries with small purses but major security issues.

In the economic and investment field in Africa, it is growing, and its investments in 2018 reached USD 20 billion.

Figures presented by President Vladimir Putin on Thursday show that trade between Russia and Africans has grown twice in the last five years, especially in the oil and gas fields, and in technology.

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