Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa
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     Statement by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the Outcome of His Talks with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, Kremlin, Moscow, March 6, 2001

     Mart 13, 2001

     The Russian Federation, just as the former Soviet Union, has always attached great significance to the development of its relations with the African continent. Among African states Nigeria occupies a special position. It is one of Africa's largest and most powerful nations. The head of this state is a leader who is recognized not only on the continent, but also throughout the world.

     We very much hope that today's meetings will benefit not only bilateral relations, but will also be good for the development of Russian relations with the whole African continent. Nigeria is today taking a very active part in peacekeeping activities in Africa and is actively engaged in the processes of political and economic integration, and that is why we have already for a sufficiently long time been coordinating our efforts on the international scene. And today we quite for a long time discussed problems of the improvement of the activity of international institutions and, above all, that of the United Nations.

     My counterpart and I are both convinced that the UN was, is and ought to remain the leading organization which ensures international security. Moreover, its activities should be consistent with the geopolitical realities of the present day world.

     We devoted a considerable amount of time also to discussing questions of bilateral relations. As my counterpart has already said, the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission for the Development of Trade and Economic Relations will be held today. There will be signed a cooperation agreement in the fields of science and culture for the next three years. In the economic sphere particular attention will be paid to joint work in the field of geological prospecting for mineral and energy resources in Nigeria. Concrete projects will be considered, including completion of construction of a metallurgical plant in Nigeria. Joint activity is being contemplated in the sphere of high technologies, along with the launching of several satellites in the interests of Nigeria for environmental monitoring and remote earth probing.

     Separate consideration will be given to the question of cooperation in the agricultural sphere, especially in the area of the production of farm products and their supply to the Russian market. Mr. President paid due attention, from my point of view, to the possible development of relations in the field of culture.

     I want once more to express my satisfaction with both the nature and the result of the talks that took place, and I want once more to thank Mr. President and his entire team for their having accepted our invitation.

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