MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting dozens of leaders of African nations for the first-ever Russia-Africa summit, reflecting Moscow’s new push to expand its clout on the continent.
Putin met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi before the two leaders opened an economic meeting with heads of state, top officials and businessmen. The two-day summit is attended by leaders of 43 of the continent’s 54 countries, with the other nations represented by senior officials.
Speaking at Wednesday’s meeting, Putin said Russia’s annual trade with African nations doubled in the last five years to exceed $20 billion. He noted that “it’s clearly not enough,” adding that Russia’s trade with Egypt accounts for about 40%.
He said Russia is willing to expand trade and offer its technologies to African nations.