President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,
I am glad that we have an opportunity to hold our bilateral meeting, but I would like to thank you once again for finding the time to come to St Petersburg and personally participate in the Russia–Africa summit.
I don’t know what you think, but I believe it was held at a very good level and with good results.
Our bilateral ties with the Republic of the Congo are strong and based on the traditions of friendship, mutual understanding and support for each other.
Next year we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries: relations were established on March 16, 1964.
Mr President, we value the personal attention that you put into promoting bilateral political dialogue. This is your fourth visit to Russia. We appreciate it very much.
In March, a representative delegation of the Congolese Parliament led by the president of the Senate took part in the Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference in Moscow. Following your visit to Moscow in May 2019, we managed to give an additional boost to cooperation in the field of nuclear and hydropower, as well as hydrocarbon production. In January-April of 2023, bilateral trade increased by 85 percent, which is a good indicator.
Leading Russian companies, including LUKOIL and Yandex, operate effectively in the republic. Rosatom plans to launch a number of large projects. There is no doubt that trade and economic cooperation has significant growth potential.
Of course, we will continue training Congolese students in leading Russian universities at the expense of the state budget. In the 2023/24 academic year, the number of state scholarships for the Congo has been increased to 250 people.
Russia and the Republic of the Congo are fruitfully cooperating at the UN and other international platforms. The Congo supports most of the Russian draft resolutions, including those on combating the glorification of Nazism, no first placement of weapons in outer space, information security and others.
A little over a month ago, we and the leaders and heads of delegations of several African states, including your representative, discussed here in St Petersburg possible ways to resolve the situation around Ukraine. Yesterday we also had the opportunity to continue the discussion with your active participation, Mr President. I believe a very frank and useful discussion took place.
And of course, I will be glad to see you tomorrow at the Main Naval Parade.
President of the Republic of the Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso (retranslated): Mr President of the Russian Federation, friends,
First of all, I would like to thank you once again for the welcome we have received here since our arrival. I would also like to congratulate you specifically on Russia’s success as the host country of this Russia–Africa Summit.
This summit was held in a difficult international situation, and it took a lot of effort. Many people wanted this summit to fail, and even we ran into huge difficulties on our way here. The plane that we used landed in Dubai because the insurance companies in the West opposed the arrival of this plane in St Petersburg. So, we had to hire another plane in Dubai and fly here in a small jet. It was quite a difficult five-hour flight. I also know that other delegations have also encountered difficulties, in particular with regard to the right to overfly certain countries.
So, the forum nevertheless ended up being a success. Most African delegations were here except for a few countries. It was a huge success.
And I must say that we are delighted with the way you conducted these meetings. For many hours you listened to all the speakers, reviewed and commented on each speech. Then we met late at night, and this morning you were working again. In particular, we discussed the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
I would like to once again congratulate you on the success of this summit, which, of course, will be reflected on the global stage. This summit was held during high international tensions, but we are glad that it succeeded. We are happy with the success accompanying the Russia–Africa Summit.
I believe that the conclusion of this summit opens enormous prospects in cooperation between Russia and the African continent. A lot has been said about this cooperation. We all understand that more specific steps are necessary.
Next year our bilateral relations, as you said beautifully, will mark the 60th anniversary since being establishment.
I have come here several times, not always as head of state, but sometimes as defence expert, a member of our political party in charge of relations with the Soviet Union Communist Party. So even then I had the opportunity to visit Moscow and Kiev too: back then, it was possible to travel from Moscow to Kiev, and there were many students there. There were also many students here. We met with them. We went to Kiev, then to St Petersburg: it was Leningrad back then. I am very glad that somehow in June I was even able to be here in St Petersburg during the white nights season. So, I can say again that this all fits into our long tradition of friendship and cooperation.
Many aspects of relations between our countries were formed here and are being formed now in this hall. This is very important for our country.
Several other projects came to life. In 2019, we tried to deepen them. Our cooperation is cooperation in the field of hydrocarbons, with Russian companies operating in our country.
Yesterday I had a very interesting meeting with a representative of a nuclear energy and electricity company. They are already present in Brazzaville. It was with their help that we were able to make a decision to try to implement the construction of 36 different facilities and substations.
Yesterday, in my speech, I stressed the importance of electricity for Africa, where 600 million people do not have access to electricity. Our country wants to develop this area, and this company volunteered to ensure the prompt implementation of these projects. By the way, yesterday, we also talked about the peaceful use of nuclear power. We are working on this.