Home South African ‘Soviet Union’s support sustained Struggle,’ says Ramaphosa

‘Soviet Union’s support sustained Struggle,’ says Ramaphosa

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President Cyril Ramaphosa, while in Russia, said South Africa remembered with deep gratitude how the support of the people and the government of the then-Soviet Union sustained the Struggle for liberation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. File picture

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa, while in Russia, said South Africa remembered with deep gratitude how the support of the people and the government of the then-Soviet Union sustained the Struggle for liberation.

The president said this during a plenary session at the 2nd Russia-Africa Summit in St Petersburg.

He said that nearly three years ago, in the city of Sochi, leaders of African states and the Russian Federation pledged to co-operate in a manner that was mutually beneficial and that served the interests of their peoples.

“In the intervening years, we have experienced strong geopolitical and economic crosswinds. We continue to count the human cost of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on our economies. As South Africa, we are greatly encouraged by the Russian Federation’s commitment to deepening collaboration with the nations of Africa,” said Ramaphosa.

He said that the 15th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg would be an opportunity to promote enhanced global co-operation to achieve common prosperity for all the nations of Africa.

“The upcoming summit will therefore give particular attention to infrastructure development, supported by the New Development Bank and the African Continental Free Trade Area.

“The African Continental Free Trade Area, once fully operational, will unlock the benefits of the continental market and generate mutually beneficial opportunities for both African and BRICS countries.

“As African countries, we are shaping our own destinies as nation states and as a continent,” said the president.

He added that co-operation between Russia and Africa would promote investment, facilitate the development of value chains and boost capacity to produce and export manufactured products.

He noted that geopolitical tensions were negatively affecting countries across Africa.

“In our interconnected world, we are all affected by conflict and instability in other parts of the world. We have a responsibility as nations to work for peace, to support peace-building, and to lend our every effort to bring an end to conflict and war.

“As South Africa, we are steadfast in our position that negotiation, dialogue, and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter are necessary for a peaceful and just resolution of conflict.

“It is our hope that constructive engagement and negotiation can bring about an end to the ongoing conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine,” said Ramaphosa.

He added that they looked forward to this second Russia-Africa Summit playing a key role in supporting the objectives of African integration, economic growth, peace and common prosperity.

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