Russia-Africa Summit. World Moving Towards New Multipolar Order

Russia and African countries reaffirmed their common position on forming a “fair and multipolar” world order. Russia has allocated $90 million in financial assistance to African countries. The Kremlin has expanded the list of the poorest African countries that will receive free Russian grain in the next 3-4 months.

St. Petersburg hosted the Second Russia-Africa Summit, during which an extensive program of economic, trade, financial, military, and cultural cooperation was agreed. Friday night, on the sidelines of the summit, some African leaders presented to President Vladimir Putin their own peace plan for Ukraine, which had already been sent to Kyiv a month ago. Putin praised “very highly” the peace initiative of African countries, which “corresponds to China’s peace plan, published on February 24, 2023.” Separately, Putin expressed the deep gratitude by the people of Russia to Africa that “did not wish to support the anti-Russian campaign.”

The summit in St. Petersburg was attended by 49 representatives and delegations from 54 countries of the African continent. The Russia-Africa summit, like the previous International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in June, was supposed to show the world that Russia’s international isolation does not work.

According to Putin, “multipolar order” without neo-colonialism is what is needed. “The desire of the West to impose its order based on certain rules on the rest of the world is evidence of neo-colonialism,” the Russian president stated.

“Although over the past decades the colonial system has become a thing of the past,” Putin said, “now we are facing a neo-colonial system. This system has already been created, and we see this hegemony in the financial, technological, and food sectors,” emphasized the Kremlin leader, according to whom “Russia and African countries reaffirmed their common position on forming a just and multipolar world order.”

In his speech before the summit participants, Putin recalled that Russia had forgiven African countries “debts for many billions of dollars” and promised that Moscow would continue to help Africa: in this context, Russia had already allocated a $90-million financial aid package. In addition, Moscow expanded the list of the poorest African countries, each one of which will receive from 25 to 50 thousand tons of Russian grain in the next 3-4 months free of charge. Russian food aid will be primarily sent to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, the Central African Republic, and Eritrea. The Burkina Faso delegation and many other African representatives asked Putin to expand the free supplies of Russian mineral fertilizers to their countries, as was done for Malawi and Kenya.

According to Pierre Kanina, Director of the National Investment Promotion Agency of the Republic of Congo, “cooperation between Africa and Russia should absolutely not be limited to the supply of food and fertilizers, but should be expanded to the development of a modern and prosperous agri-food sector in Africa.” Russia has guaranteed its participation in the implementation of many strategic projects in Africa, ranging from the extraction of raw materials to energy and infrastructure.

For their part, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and some other African leaders have asked Putin to reach a consensus on Ukrainian Black Sea grain as soon as possible. On July 17, Russia suspended its participation in the deal on Ukrainian wheat, because “none of the arrangements in favor of Russia have been implemented.”

Finally, on the sidelines of the summit, Putin and African leaders signed a number of declarations on the prevention of an arms race in outer space and on international information security.