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By Jack Silverhand
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Russia once again in the center of the world stage: Sochi hosts international summit and economic forum "Russia - Africa"

The presidents of the Russian Federation and the Arab Republic of Egypt highlighted promising areas for the development of economic relations between Moscow and the African Union. The Road Map development for Russian-African geopolitical relations is scheduled for tomorrow.

SOCHI - October 23. In the Russian city of Sochi, was launched the "Russia-Africa"
Summit, conducted jointly with the eponymous international economic forum. On the largest platform for political, economic and cultural dialogue in the history of Russian-African relations, Moscow acted as the initiator of a new format of relations between Russia and the countries of the African continent. During the course of the plenary session of the forum on the implementation of bilateral business projects, Russian leader Vladimir Putin stated that Russia is looking forward to expanding its presence in the region, designating for itself as a medium-term milestone a twofold increase in trade with African states…

The main event of the first day of the summit (focusing on political dialogue) and the forum (developing a new economic area) that started in Sochi, united by the common name "Russia - Africa", without a doubt was the plenary session organized in the forum zone of the Sochi innovation complex "Sirius" with the participation of the Russian and Egyptian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Al-Sisi, who arrived in Russia also as chairman of the African Union.

In his speech, the President of Russian Federation emphasized the prospects for the implementation of economic cooperation projects.

Russian president Vladimir Putin stated: "The work of the Russia-Africa Forum will give momentum to the development of trade and economic relations with our friends on the African continent."

Speaking about the volume of trade with African countries, Vladimir Putin noted that since 2015, bilateral trade between the countries of Russia and Africa has increased more than twofold, exceeding $20 billion. The Russian leader also noted that, "Moscow is committed to further cooperation towards the development of Africa." In particular, Russia is actively contributing to the erasing of the debt obligations of African nations, writing off African countries' debt burden for loans taken back in the Soviet era.

Russian president Vladimir Putin stated: "Currently the total amount of debt written off to African countries exceeds $20 billion."

Another topic raised by the Russian leader was cooperation in the area of combating infectious diseases. As an example Vladimir Putin cited the Russian Research Center of Epidemiology and Prevention of Infectious Diseases, opened in Guinea in 2017.

The participants of the plenary session also identified the main directions for
intensifying work on joint projects.

Former Russian minister of education, rector of RUDN University Vladimir Filippov stated: "The "Russia-Africa" Forum shows that we have prospects in at least three areas: educating the best students from Africa in Russian universities, intensifying the projects aiming to improve professional skills of African graduates from Russian and Soviet universities with their further involvement in Russian companies, Along with the employment of our graduates occupying leading positions in the economic and political spheres of African countries to develop our bilateral economic cooperation and bring Russian technologies to the African market."

Tomorrow will be the second day of the political summit and economic forum "Russia - Africa". The key topic for discussion will be the geopolitical agenda for the African region.
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