The agenda included such topics as development of bilateral relations, topical regional and international issues, and Russia’s engagement with ECOWAS, including preparations for the second Russia-Africa summit scheduled for July 2023.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, good afternoon.
I am very glad to see you.
Next year we will mark the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, but this is the first meeting of the presidents, heads of state. We are very glad to see you in Russia.
Throughout the history of Guinea-Bissau, its fight for independence and afterward, during the formation of Guinea-Bissau statehood, Russia – both the Soviet Union and Russia – and your country have always enjoyed very good and very warm relations. And today we continue to develop the very same relations.
Of course, we still have a lot to do to promote trade, economic and cultural ties, though even now, considering cooperation in education, the situation is developing quite positively.
I know that you are now the head of the Economic Community of West African States, with 400 million people living in its member countries and an overall GDP of US$550 billion. And in general, Russia has very decent trade with it and, most importantly, very good trade growth.
We hope that a significant contribution will also be made to the development of relations with Guinea-Bissau, with the ECOWAS member states, and with the entire African continent during your chairmanship of this organisation.
As you know, in 2019 we held a very successful Russia-Africa summit in Sochi. We are planning to hold a similar summit next July in our northern capital, St Petersburg.
Mr President, we are very glad to see you. Welcome to Russia!
President of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo (retranslated): Thank you.
I think it is very important that our relations develop and adapt. Guinea-Bissau has also been historically an unshakable partner of Russia and the Soviet Union.
I represent ECOWAS, too, so I will pass on a message from all its member states.
You can see that today’s situation in relation to the war between two brotherly nations, Russia and Ukraine, as well as with regard to grain and fertilisers, has blocked progress all over the world. This is very important. We think and hope that we will be able to find a way to establish a dialogue between the two brotherly nations.
I also think it is crucial for President Putin to tell us what he can do to resolve this conflict. The position of Africa in this context shows in reality that what Russia brings to the world is very important.
I would also like to say that we are partners and would like to discuss security issues in West Africa.
Russia is present in all countries of the world; you have embassies everywhere. We would also like to discuss matters of importance, such as the role you play in the world.
I have come as a brother and a friend, of course.