In his message to the leaders of African countries, the President said, in particular:
“This important date, which commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963, symbolises the common desire of the region’s peoples for sustainable development, lasting peace, and security.
Russia has close and traditionally friendly political, economic and humanitarian ties with Africa. Tens of thousands of students from African countries have graduated from Russia’s universities. Hundreds of Russian specialists – doctors, builders, geologists – have worked in various countries in your vast continent and continue to do so today.
Cooperation between Russia and Africa has become noticeably more intensive of late, as has our political dialogue. Steady efforts continue to expand our mutually beneficial business and humanitarian cooperation. I am sure that through our combined efforts we can make full use of all the opportunities before us.
The last fifty years have seen Africa play an increasingly prominent part in global affairs. Your countries are active in helping to resolve the biggest problems the world faces today, and building a just world order based on respect for individuals’ rights and peaceful resolution of international disputes.
We place great value on your efforts to deepen multifaceted integration within the framework of the African Union and sub-regional groupings. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia will continue to facilitate efforts to build up the foundations of collective security in the region, including work to develop the region’s own peacekeeping potential. In this respect, we have considerably increased our assistance to African countries in training peacekeepers. For its part, Russia takes part in all UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.
The global financial crisis that has spread around the world has hit the developing countries very hard. Russia consistently supports more effective assistance for Africa from the entire international community. We will continue taking part in this work within the UN, the G8 and the G20.
We played a direct part in the decision taken at the G20 summit in London to considerably increase assistance to the poorest countries, most of which are in Africa. We will work as actively as possible to help make these decisions reality.”