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Lavrov terms Africa as future developing continent, thanks African countries for not supporting anti-Russian sanctions

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address at the second international youth forum, “#RussiaAfrica: What’s next?”


New Delhi: Taking note of world bodies describing the African continent as the fastest developing continent in the world, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov argued that Russia has always advocated for a multi-polar world arrangement and rules-based order. He added that the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has led to the continent gaining political weight and achieving considerable success in the economy. He thanked the African states for not joining the anti-Russian sanctions despite crude pressures being exerted on them.

He said this while addressing the second international youth forum, “Russia-Africa: What’s next?” The forum was organised by Anatoly Torkunov of the MGIMO University administration, and the student activists.

Lavrov expressed satisfaction that the forum is acquiring a permanent “residence” and is becoming a popular discussion venue for exchanging views on Russia-Africa relations.

“Viewing Africa as a distinctive, dynamically developing continent of the future, we are consistently advocating the strengthening of its status in a multi-polar world arrangement. We want the united and independent voice of Africans to be heard and considered in the international arena”, remarked Russian FM Sergey Lavrov.

The Russian FM added the conditions for this exist. Lavrov further remarked “The African states are confidently gaining political weight and achieving considerable success in the economy. In the past decade, Africa’s nominal GDP has increased by 50 percent. Considering the recently created African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), this trend will only gain momentum”.

Arguing that the Russian-African relations are time-tested. Having not smeared its image with the bloody crimes of colonialism, Lavrov stated that Russia has always sincerely supported the Africans in their fight against colonialist oppression. It provided them with comprehensive and largely gratis practical assistance.

Lavrov said that one of the main priorities of Russian foreign policy is the strengthening of comprehensive partnership with the African nations. “We are open to building up Russian-African ties in the vein of strategic decisions made at the first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in October 2019. As you know, the participants in this summit determined the main directions for further political, economic and humanitarian cooperation”, he added.

Commenting upon the current frosty relations with the West, the Russian FM stated, “Under today’s conditions of global turbulence caused by the neo-colonialist course of “the historical West” toward reaching world supremacy, the need for Russian-African interaction is becoming even more urgent. We are united by the rejection of the so-called “rules-based order” that the former colonial powers are imposing on the world. This “order” allows others to do only what benefits Washington and its satellites”.

Lavrov further argued, “We consistently advocate the democratisation of international life and respect for the right of nations to determine for themselves the models of political and socio-economic development.”

Referring to the sanctions imposed on Russia by the US and its NATO allies, the Russian FM remarked, “Russia greatly appreciates the fact that despite unprecedented and crude pressure, our African friends, like the overwhelming majority of the international community, have not joined the anti-Russia sanctions but continue developing dialogue and cooperation with us. This independent line oriented towards national interests deserves great respect.”

He added that a month ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced the holding of the second Russia-Africa Summit in St Petersburg in the summer of 2023. The goal is to confirm the achieved results and harmonise new instruments and mechanisms for promoting the Russia-Africa agenda. We expect the results of the summit to enhance comprehensive cooperation.

Summits are usually preceded by preparations. In the humanitarian area, this is in full swing as we promote academic and youth ties, a theme that is close to African countries. Many roundtable discussions and conferences have been held this year alone. Lavrov expressed confidence that the forum will also make a useful contribution to our common mission.


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