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2nd Russia-Africa summit: What are the stakes?

Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, poses for a photo with leaders of African countries at the Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, O   -  
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Sergei Chirikov/AP


Russia's second largest city will host the 2nd Russia-Africa Summit starting Thursday (Jul. 27).

The Kremlin has confirmed the participation of 49 African countries and Several leaders including South African President

After an inaugural summit in 2019, this meeting is a key "step" toward "a reassembly of the relations" between Russia and the continent, expert Vsevolod Sviridov predicts.

"The main goal of the second Russia-Africa summit is to see what has been done in recent years. The world economy and politics have changed. First, there was the Covid-19 pandemic, then the special military operation [Editor's Note: Referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine] began," expert at the Centre for African Studies, HSE University says.

The framework in which Russia and Africa interact has seriously changed. Therefore, evidently, there needs to be a reassembly of the relations between Russia and Africa, to find common grounds, to explain to each other outlooks on topical issues, for example, on the grain deal."

Africa's 1.3 billion people and its 54 nations that make up the largest voting bloc at the UN has conviced a growing number of powers, the latest of which is the USA, to organize such gatherings.

The summit is expected to see various agreements signed.

"The role of Africa has increased. We see a multiplied number of contacts at the highest level and at the high level. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made several visits to Africa. (ed. Russian president) Vladimir Putin meets with the leaders of African countries quite regularly. Therefore, the role of Africa is growing. The demand for an African position on the current state of affairs on the world stage is also growing."

"The main attention will be paid to the prospects for the further development of relations between Africa and Russia with an emphasis on our assistance to the national sovereign development of Africans, ensuring fair access to food, fertilisers, modern technologies and energy resources," Kremlin foreign policy advisor Yuri Ushakov said as quoted by Russian news agencies.

Several leaders including South African President are expected.

At the first Russia-Africa Summit in 2019, Putin vowed to double Russia’s trade with the continent within five years. However, it has stalled at around $18 billion a year.

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