Russian President of the Duma (Lower House of Parliament), Vyacheslav Volodin, speaks during a conference at the Nicaraguan National Assembly in Managua, on Fbruary 24, 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaMuhammad OsmanWriter/EditorA meeting between Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin and Speaker of the National Assembly of South Africa Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula took place on the eve of the beginning of the Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference, which will be held in Moscow on March 19 and 20.There are the opportunities for increasing cooperation in various fields between Russia and Africa, using the parliamentary dimension, Russia’s State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said in a statement following a meeting with the speaker of South Africa’s National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.”We are very pleased that you have found the opportunity to come to us at the second Russia-Africa parliamentary conference, and our meeting is the first within the framework of the conference. We hope that your official visit to Russia will take place this year,” the website of the State Duma quoted Volodin as saying.The Russian lawmaker also said that relations between Moscow and Pretoria are developing thanks to the dialogue between the presidents of the two states.”We have great capabilities, and we should use the parliamentary dimension to do everything to enhance our cooperation in various areas,” Volodin told Mapisa-Nqakula.He also proposed to prepare and sign an appropriate agreement between Russia’s State Duma and South Africa’s National Assembly, as well as to create a high-level parliamentary commission.At the same time, the Russian State Duma speaker noted that trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is showing good results: in 2022, trade between the Russian Federation and South Africa increased by 16.7%.In addition, during their meeting, Volodin and Mapisa-Nqakula discussed cooperation within the BRICS bloc, which is currently chaired by South Africa.
"Our cooperation did not start yesterday: it started decades ago. And we felt your support in the worst times for us, during apartheid," Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said. "We understand that now it is a difficult time for Russia as a country. But I would like to assure you that South Africa will continue cooperation. During the Conference, we can discuss areas of cooperation that are important for us. We look forward to its start."
The South African official stressed that it is “very important for us that Russia gives priority to the African continent,” arguing that many other countries consider Africa as “a great possibility to get African resources.” “But taking into account the history of our cooperation, we, like many other African countries, believe that Russia has other, more genuine interests in Africa,” she stressed.AfricaRussia, Republic of the Congo to Agree on Oil Pipeline Construction, Russian Envoy Says 14:28 GMTThe meeting between the Russian and the South African parliamentary speakers took place on the eve of the start of the Second Russia-Africa International Parliamentary Conference, which will be hosted by the State Duma in Moscow on March 19-20. According to Volodin, the interest in the event is huge: the first conference has brought together participants from 36 African countries, while more than 40 official parliamentary delegations from all across Africa are going to take part in this year’s conference.Earlier, Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said that the conference will feature a speech by President Vladimir Putin, noting that the conference is a preparatory event for the second Russia-Africa Summit, set to be held on July 27-28 in St. Petersburg.