Putin expects African Union to become G-20 member in September

Putin expects African Union to become G-20 member in September

Russia ready to do 'everything possible to help strengthen the sovereignty of African states,' says Russian president

By Burc Eruygur

ISTANBUL (AA) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said that he expected the African Union (AU) to become a member of the G-20 as early as September during the organization’s upcoming summit in India.

“Russia was one of the first to respond positively to the initiative last year put forward by your predecessors in the presidency, the President of Senegal, to grant the African Union full membership in the G-20. We expect that this decision will be made as early as September during the G-20 summit in New Delhi,” Putin said during a meeting with AU head Azali Assoumani and AU Commission head Moussa Faki Mahamat in St. Petersburg.

Putin said that Russia views the AU as the leading regional organization shaping Africa’s security structure and creating the conditions for the continent’s place “in the system of global economic ties.”

Putin further said that his country is ready to do “everything possible to help strengthen the sovereignty of African states, to help make Africa one of the key partners in the new system of a multipolar world order,” indicating that special attention will be devoted to these issues during the Russia-Africa Summit, which will commence later today.

“We will also discuss practical solutions related to building up trade and economic cooperation, ensuring food and energy security, and developing national healthcare systems,” Putin said.

He further said that the volume of mutual trade between Russia and Africa in 2022 amounted to about $18 billion despite the effects of Western sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the trade turnover in the first half of this year increased by almost 35%.

Ahead of the Russia-Africa Summit on July 27-28, Putin also held separate meetings on Wednesday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as well as Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and the head of the New Development Bank, Dilma Rousseff.

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