BRICS

Ethiopia’s House of Federation Speaker Praises ‘Strong Ties’ Between Russian & Ethiopian Parliaments

The 10th BRICS Parliamentary Forum is held at the Tauride Palace in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is attended by around 400 delegates from the BRICS+ countries and the CIS Interparliamentary Assembly member states (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan). Ethiopia has an “excellent relationship with the Russian Parliament,” Agegnehu Teshager told Sputnik on the sidelines of the BRICS parliamentary forum. “So we are happy to have a good relationship between the parliaments of Russia and Ethiopia and also the relationship between the BRICS parliaments and other parliaments, a strong tie between the parliaments,” Ethiopia’s House of Federation Speaker said. According to the speaker, Ethiopia and Russia have signed almost 22 agreements in the fields of defense, mining, and other spheres like education; around 14 of them have been ratified. “We need to have cooperation between the parliaments as capacity building, technical support [and other things] will be very important for the two countries and other countries, especially the BRICS countries’ parliaments’ members,” the speaker underlined. He added that the two countries need to “have a relationship regarding peace and leadership, regarding different economic activities.” On January 1, 2024, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa were joined by Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt as new full members of BRICS.

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Putin Congratulates Ramaphosa on Reelection as South African President

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier, the country’s African National Congress (ANC), the Democratic Alliance (DA), the Patriotic Alliance, and the Inkatha Freedom Party formed a ruling coalition. Cyril Ramaphosa has been reelected as President of South Africa. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated Cyril Ramaphosa on his reelection as the president of South Africa, noting his contribution to the development of relations and strategic partnership between the countries, the Kremlin said on Saturday. “Dear Mr. Ramaphosa, please accept our heartfelt congratulations on your reelection as President of the Republic of South Africa. We highly appreciate your personal contribution to the development of strategic partnership relations between our countries, as well as productive Russian-South African cooperation within the UN, BRICS, G20 and other multilateral structures,” the congratulatory telegram reads. Putin added that he looks forward to continuing the constructive dialogue with Ramaphosa and working together on topical issues on the bilateral and international agenda. The Russian leader also expects Ramaphosa to attend BRICS summit in Russia’s city of Kazan on October 22-24. On Friday, a ruling coalition was created in South Africa, which comprises ANC, DA, the Patriotic Alliance, and the Inkatha Freedom Party.

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‘We Wish to See the Two Together in One Room,’ South African FM Says on Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Exclusive On Monday, the South African Foreign Minister discussed ways in which South Africa and other Global South countries could contribute to resolving the conflict in Ukraine during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as part of this year’s BRICS ministerial meeting. South Africa sees direct peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine as its “first prize,” and Pretoria seeks to “create conditions” for that to happen, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, told Sputnik Africa in an exclusive interview on Monday. To reach the peace agreement, the southern African country engages with both leaders, Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, the top diplomat noted. “[…] Russia is ready to engage in negotiation, but all the impediments have to be addressed in order for that to happen. So there’s a willingness, and we would like to build on that willingness. As South Africa, what we have said is that we wish to see the two together in one room, and we want to create the conditions for that to happen,” she said. Pandor emphasized that all the meetings with Ukraine on the issue are solely focused on the Ukraine peace plan, and South Africa has “consistently” pointed out that “it’s not good enough.” “We want to see the Russia peace plan. We’ve got to put the two together and see what both are proposing. That’s when you really begin to have peace discussions. Before that, it’s like a workshop,” she concluded. In May, South Africa announced it would not participate in the upcoming so-called Ukraine peace summit, scheduled to be held in Switzerland on June 15-16. Pretoria’s stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is in line with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s previous statement: the country aspires to an inclusive and representative global order to enhance multilateral participation and encourage conflict resolution through discussion. For that very reason, the president stated, South Africa participated in an African peace mission to Russia and Ukraine. After Russia started its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, South Africa urged both sides of the conflict to turn to negotiations and find a diplomatic solution.

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Embarks on Trip to Russia to Attend BRICS Meeting, Spokesman Says

DUBAI (Sputnik) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry has left for Russia to attend a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers, Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said on Sunday. The ministerial meeting of the BRICS group of developing economies will take place in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod from June 10-11. Russia’s sous-sherpa for BRICS, Pavel Knyazev, estimated that about 20-25 nations were expected to attend. “Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry left Sunday morning for the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod to attend a meeting of BRICS foreign ministers,” the spokesman was quoted as saying by the Middle East News Agency. Russia assumed the rotating presidency of the group of the world’s largest emerging economies on January 1. Until recently, the organization consisted of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It admitted four new full members in January: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates.

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Russia Helps Zimbabwe Become Self-Sufficient, President Mnangagwa States

Exclusive From June 5 to 8, the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) was held in St. Petersburg, which was attended by Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He took part in the SPIEF plenary session and also held negotiations with the Russian leader. Sputnik Africa had the honor of interviewing Mnangagwa on the sidelines of the forum. Russia assists Zimbabwe in achieving self-sufficiency, the president of the African country, Emmerson Mnangagwa, told Sputnik Africa in an exclusive interview conducted on the sidelines of the SPIEF 2024. The countries actively interact in the field of science and technology. “[…] We focus on cooperation in science and technology. We are sending dozens and dozens, perhaps hundreds and hundreds of students to study science and technology in the Russian Federation. Because we feel that every developed country is on the basis of embracing science and technology,” Zimbabwe’s president said. Moreover, one of the main areas of cooperation between the countries is agriculture. “They [Russia] are supporting us with fertilizer so that we become self-sufficient. Zimbabwe has been self-sufficient in food security. But the biggest constraint we have is access to the appropriate fertilizer for our region. And that we can get from the Russian Federation,” he said. In 2023, Russia donated 11,000 tonnes of potash fertilizers to Zimbabwe, which helped ensure the country’s food security. In 2024, 25,000 tonnes of Russian wheat were supplied free of charge as part of the implementation of decisions taken following the results of the second Russia-Africa Summit. At the same time, the Uralchem Group of companies donated 23,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers. At the SPIEF, Mnangagwa thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for the transfer of fertilizers to Harare. “Let me on behalf of my country, my people, and myself personally express my deepest gratitude for your continued support for our sanctioned country,” he said. Speaking of sanctions, the African president noted that they have failed to “stifle” the Zimbabwean economy; on the contrary, they have even helped it develop as the country has shifted its focus on internal problems to modernize the economy. “We are doing better in the entire region in our economic growth year by year because of sanctions. So we are also anxious that the Americans should not remove their sanctions so that we continue focusing and doing better. Those countries without sanctions in our region are not doing as good as we are doing,” he pointed out. Discussing the economy, Mnangagwa noted that his country is “on the correct path” toward making Zimbabwe an industrial hub. “Well, it is us who must focus on what we need to industrialize our country. Zimbabwe is now at the threshold to do that because we have a thriving mining industry that needs access to global capital as well as global skills. And that is happening. Then also, Zimbabwe has a highly qualified, highly educated workforce, which is complementary to the question of workforce in modern countries,” he explained. Economic progress has helped Zimbabwe meet the conditions for joining BRICS. “I’ve discussed this with my dear brother, president Putin, that I think we are now ready to join because we now have a solid currency in Zimbabwe. And our economy is now based on solid fundamentals of economics. […] So we now know that we fulfil the requirements to qualify to join the BRICS,” Mnangagwa said. Zimbabwe have been subject to currency fluctuations, and therefore it was decided to introduce a currency that would be backed by the country’s gold reserves. “We are suffering from the fluctuations of an incurred currency. So one time, you know, the inflation could fly in our face. […] We decided that we need a currency, a solid currency based on our gold reserves. […] And that’s what we have done. So our currency is now called ZIG, which is Zimbabwe Gold,” the head of state added. Aside from that, Zimbabwe’s leader revealed to Sputnik Africa that the upcoming summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will show whether the country is ready to host the Russia-Africa Summit. “We ourselves designated to hold a SADC summit, this is about 16 countries in our region, in August this year. That will tell us whether we are now grown up enough to host a conference of that nature,” Mnangagwa said. The president noted that if the country sees that it is not yet ready to host the summit, it would aim to achieve the required level of infrastructure development over the next few years. Perhaps, if the Russia-Africa summit is held in Zimbabwe, the nation will use the new city that it is building in preparation for the SADC summit. “So we are in a difficult time right now, we hardly sleep. We are creating a new city… Of course, we are not such cool guys as those who gathered here [at the SPIEF]. We do not have infrastructure that was built a long time ago. [But] we are growing. I like what we can achieve the infrastructure needed to hold a regional conference,” Mnangagwa said. After the SADC summit, the country will have infrastructure that can be used for holding major events. In particular, Mnangagwa proposed holding a Russia-Zimbabwe summit and invited Putin to the country. Last but not least, talking about Russia, the African leader pointed out that Russia adheres to the principle of brotherhood, not a “horse and rider” relationship. “The difference I see is that the Russian approach is of comradeship, brotherhood, not horse and rider. So this is why we favor an approach of friendship, of equality, of brotherhood rather than of principle and the student. The horse rider is more cruel, but that of teacher and student,” Mnangagwa concluded, wishing success to Sputnik news agency.

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