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From trade, defence to nuclear energy: Key takeaways from Russia-Africa Forum

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

Sputnik News Agency Sochi Oct 24, 2019, 11.40 AM (IST)

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Moscow intends to continue to assist African partners in tackling the contemporary challenges and problems, and will continue to support the desire of African states to conduct independent policies. Here are the key takeaways from the summit. 

Trade

Putin called for doubling the Russia-Africa trade within the next 4-5 years and also announced plans to expand Russia's presence on the continent.

Investment in Africa

Russia is a "strong partner" who is welcomed to invest in Africa and help cover the continent’s needs totalling $2.1 trillion, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) President Benedict Oramah told Sputnik.

Trade financing

The Russian Export Center, VEB.RF state development corporation, Sberbank and GemCorpCapital LLP investment company have signed a $5 billion worth framework agreement for creating a mechanism of Russian-African trade financing, according to the document seen by Sputnik.

Nuclear energy

Russia and Ethiopia have signed an intergovernmental agreement in Sochi for cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said.

Defence ties

Russia plans to deliver $4 billion worth of weapons to Africa in 2019, Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev told Sputnik.

Russia and Nigeria have signed a contract for deliveries of 12 Russian Mi-35 attack helicopters, Russian Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation Deputy Director Anatoly Punchuk told Sputnik on Wednesday at the Russia-Africa forum.

"The contract has been signed, [for] 12 helicopters, the contract is being implemented," Punchuk said.

Nigerian Ambassador to Russia Steve Davies Ugbah earlier said in an interview with Sputnik that Russia had already delivered six Mi-35M attack helicopters to Nigeria under the contract, while the ways of securing the delivery of the remaining six were being discussed.

Tackling challenges

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia intends to continue to assist African partners in tackling the contemporary challenges and problems, and will continue to support the desire of African states to conduct independent policies.

"We intend to continue to fully assist the efforts of our African partners aimed at resolving local crises, countering terrorism and extremism, cross-border crime and drug trafficking, as well as other challenges and security threats," Putin said at a reception in honour of the participants of the Russia-Africa summit.

The Russia-Africa summit and business forum, co-chaired by the presidents of Russia and Egypt, kicked off on Wednesday in Russia's Black Sea resort of Sochi. Over 40 African nations are represented by heads of state or government at the summit, while 11 others sent their vice presidents, foreign ministers or ambassadors.