Russian foreign policy
Russian policy in Africa



Transcript of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov Remarks at Joint Press Conference Following Talks with Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of South Africa,
Moscow, July 19, 2002


    Foreign Minister Ivanov: Our talks with the Foreign Affairs Minister of the Republic of South Africa, Mrs. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, were very useful and saturated. We discussed a broad range of problems, both of a bilateral character and internationally related, particularly issues concerning the African continent. The talks have once again confirmed the similarity of the approaches of our countries to key international issues, primarily as regards stability, global security and strengthening the UN's role. We thoroughly exchanged views on the development of the processes on the African continent. Russia has welcomed the creation of the African Union and we are interested in developing the most constructive cooperation with this new regional organization.

    Much attention was paid during the talk to conflicts on the African continent. Russia and South Africa spoke in favor of a political settlement of the situations in the hot spots of Africa. We welcomed the positive trends in resolving the crisis in Angola, and exchanged views on possible measures, both at the level of bilateral relations and through international mechanisms, to facilitate the settlement of other conflicts. Also, we scrutinized the situation developing in the Middle East, in the Persian Gulf, around Iraq and in Afghanistan. We analyzed the international steps in the struggle against new threats and challenges, primarily against international terrorism.

    We concurred that bilateral relations are evolving dynamically and positively, and that we've got an active political dialogue and cooperation developing on the international scene. We believe that greater attention needs to be paid now to issues of trade and economic cooperation; to this end in November this year there will be held the second meeting of the Mixed Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, which on the Russian side is headed by the Deputy Chairperson of the Government of Russia, Valentina Matviyenko. There are possibilities for building up ties in the military-technological area, and in the fields of culture, science and technology, and the arts, on the basis of the Protocol which was signed during my visit to South Africa in December 2001. Thus, in all the sectors favorable conditions are forming for the development of cooperation and we must use them for the good of the peoples of the two countries.

    Once more I would like to welcome Mrs. Dlamini-Zuma to Moscow and to express gratitude for the very rich and constructive dialogue.

    Question: What are the further prospects in the development of contacts between Russia and South Africa.

    Foreign Minister Ivanov: At the beginning of this September, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov is scheduled to go to Johannesburg to attend the World Summit on Sustainable Development. Simultaneously during this visit he is going to meet with South African leaders. Scheduled for the middle of November is the second session of the Mixed Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The Russian delegation will be headed by Deputy Chairperson of the Government Valentina Matviyenko. Other contacts between various agencies are expected. We bear in mind to hold our next meeting with the South African Foreign Minister this September in the course of the next session of the UN General Assembly.

    Question: Don't you think that the considerable distance between Russia and South Africa hinders the development of trade and economic cooperation?

    Foreign Minister Ivanov: In the conditions of globalization its own laws are at work, including in the economic field, and distance does not have the significance that it had in the 19th or in the middle of the 20th century.

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