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Russia: African leaders attend Navy Day in St. Petersburg

African leaders with Russian President Vladimir Putin on board a vessel towards the city of Kronstadt, on July 30, 2023.   -  
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African leaders accompanied Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday for the annual Navy Day event in St. Petersburg.

The presidents of the Republic of Congo, Mali, Eritrea and Burkina Faso were in St. Petersburg for the Russia-Africa Summit which took place last week, on July 27 and 28. 

During his speech before the military parade, Putin paid tribute to the "courageous crews of Russian ships and submarines", who are playing a role in the offensive in Ukraine, particularly the Black Sea fleet, which regularly takes part in bombardments.

"In the name of Russia, our sailors are giving their all, showing true heroism and fighting valiantly, just like our great ancestors", Putin said. He made no reference to the conflict in Ukraine in his speech.

Forty-five surface ships and submarines and around 3,000 sailors took part in the parade in the former imperial capital to mark Russian Navy Day, which is widely celebrated across the country.

The African leaders took a boat trip with Putin after the event to the port city of Kronstadt, where the Russian leader vowed to "implement" agreements which had been made with the visiting African leaders in recent days.

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