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Putin announces the opening of a “new page” of relations between Russia and Africa

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday that the first Russian-African summit “opened a new page” of relations between Moscow and the African continent, calling for “intensified cooperation” between the two sides.

“We can say that this event has opened a new chapter in relations between Russia and Africa,” Putin said in a speech at the end of the two-day summit, praising the “professional and friendly meetings”.

All 54 African countries took part in the summit, 43 of which were represented by their heads of state or government, but no major agreement was announced during the summit.

“We intend to intensify economic cooperation,” Putin said, referring to Russia’s goal of increasing trade with Africa over the next five years to “40 billion dollars” annually, and announced that the summit would be held every three years.

A joint statement was issued at the end of the Russia-Africa Sochi summit, calling for amendments to the composition of the Security Council “in order to become better represented.”

The aim of the summit was to consolidate Russia’s return to the African continent, which was away from it after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, amid clear competition from China and many Western countries.

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