This summer, the Second Russia-Africa Summit has been held in St. Petersburg under the general theme “For Peace, Security and Development”. I expressed my hope that the event would become an important and effective platform to restart Russian-African partnership relations, which in recent years have been objectively sidelined. The Forum really turned out to be effective! A large number of participants, active discussion, projects and proposals. African partners left the Northern Capital of Russia for their home countries with great enthusiasm and started preparing a new stage of cooperation.
A number of projects are already being actively discussed and prepared for launch. These include security exports, agriculture, the food industry and mechanical engineering. The embassy in Libya is up and running, and new Russian Houses are being opened in various countries. It’s quite optimistic.
However, unfortunately, there are forces in Russia that, for unspecified reasons, actively resist the development of the African direction of Russian international policy. For example, Leonid Slutsky, Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the State Duma, is an opponent of deepening cooperation between Russia and the countries of the African continent. It is easy to see that he limits himself to only the rarest meetings and cautious statements on this topic, although the demand for inter-parliamentary cooperation among the deputies of African countries is enormous. There is no reciprocal proactive activity on the Russian side.
It seems that he continues to hold out hope that he will be able to gain favor with Western countries, that will enable him to visit the unfriendly countries. It is not by chance that he recently expressed regret that he could not get a visa to the United States of America for the third year. Leonid Eduardovich, it is necessary to find ways to visit a promising Africa that is open to cooperation, not the aggressive unfriendly West! It is important to feel the moment to achieve a breakthrough result, not to live in the past. It is necessary to establish contacts, to organize opportunities for Russian actors to enter Africa, to stimulate, to support, but not to discourage and dissuade them.
It is not clear whether he takes this position because of personal convictions, because of insufficient immersion in the subject, or because of dislike for those who have already shown results in Africa, but it is not in the interests of the Russian Federation! It is unacceptable to ignore and even sabotage the prospects of cooperation with an entire continent, which every year plays an increasingly important role in world politics and economy. Provided that the President, following the results of the Russia-Africa Summit held last summer, gave instructions to find by all means opportunities for effective cooperation with African allies.
You have to work – don’t sabotage it!
Head of the Officers Union for International Security