Russia is in Africa as a partner, a friend and a contributor - Mikhail Malkov
DATE: 28 September 2017
AUTHOR: ADZILIWI NEMATANDANI
We strongly support the notion, ‘African solution to African problems’ because only Africans themselves know the core of their troubles and how to address them. At the same time, we believe that Africa should not be left alone with its problems because without an active participation of African states in international political and economic affairs it is impossible to build a solid and stable system of global security.
That was according to the Embassy of the Russian Federation’s first secretary, Mr Mikhail Malkov. Mr Malkov was addressing the ambassadorial forum on Russia’s Foreign Policy towards South Africa and Africa in the increasingly Globalising World which was hosted by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on Tuesday 26 September 2017. He was speaking on behalf of the Russian Ambassador to South Africa, HE Mr Mikhail Petrakov who could not attend the event due to some pressing commitments.
Addressing a host of academics, government officials and representatives from various diplomatic missions through a video conference in Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa, Mr Malkov indicated that his country supports close cooperation between the UN and African regional organisations as well as individual states with the aim of working out coordinated approach to the settlement of conflicts on the continent, primarily by political and diplomatic means, within the framework of relevant UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, on the basis of norms and principles of peacekeeping, as provided for by the UN Charter.
He said that the principal position of the Russian Federation is that in order to ensure lasting peace on the African continent, its states should play a key role with respect to peacekeeping operations in Africa.
“Being a permanent member of the UN Security Council Russia contributes significantly to peacekeeping in Africa by working out strategic line and practical measures, aimed at promoting peace and security in Africa, settling violent conflicts and determining mandates of peacekeeping operations,” he added.
Russia’s financial contributions to peacekeeping missions amounts to 330 million US dollars which makes it the 7th largest contributor. The country also provide the missions with equipment and assist with aviation logistics.
Apart from peace and security issues, his speech also touched on Russia’s economic development support to Africa, education and health support. He highlighted that one of the major areas of Russia’s assistance to Africa was the alleviation of the debt burden on African countries.
“To date, Russia has written off African debt to the tune of 20 billion US dollars. Some of the relieved funds are used in special “debt for development” programmes,” he said.
This meant that instead of those countries paying back the debt, the money is channeled to other essential development projects such as building of schools, hospitals etc.
In his conclusion, Mr Malkov emphasised that Russia is coming back to Africa as a partner, a friend and a contributor who is ready to assist in achieving the AU Agenda 2063 goal, to build up a prosperous and peaceful Africa, which is a responsible actor in the global affairs and a strong economic partner for the increasingly globalising world.
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Notes to the editor
About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.
Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.
The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.
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