Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdanov visits South Africa

Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov with South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa

22 November 2021

Russia’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa, Mr Mikhail L. Bogdanov was on an official visit to South Africa. He had meetings with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, with officials of the Department of Trade and Industry as well as fruitful discussions with Deputy Minster of International Relations for South Africa Mr Alvin Botes. He also engaged Heads of Mission from the Middle East represented in South Africa.

At a press briefing in Pretoria, City of Tshwane, the Minister thanked the media for their attendance and for the valuable role of the journalist and looked forward to media cooperation and the exchange of reporters and correspondents between Russia and Africa. His visit was to examine the nature of the framework of the cooperation with Africa after the inaugural Russia-Africa summit in 2019. As agreed, the summit will take place every 3 years with preparations underway for the 2022 meeting.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov meeting with South Africa's Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Alvin Botes

Russia’s historical relations and support for Africa’s liberation from the yoke of colonialism is well documented. Archival research, compilation and preservation for future generations are ongoing, said the Minister. We are building mutual respect and trust through bilateral and multilateral fora through our engagements and technical cooperation through our interaction in BRICS, G20 the UN amongst others.

There is no official definition of terrorism, said the Minister when asked about the insurgency in Mozambique, and there is a double standard applied when dealing with this issue of criminality. It is a serious issue which Russia has also been affected by, that is why Russia has been engaged in training personnel, providing specialist equipment and sharing intelligence and information to combat the spread of these violent deeds.
Russia's Deputy Minister Bogdanov (centre) and Russian Ambassador Ilya Rogachev (right) interacting with Heads of Mission of the Middle East represented in South Africa

The role of art, culture and sport is vital for creating greater awareness and understanding among humanity. People to people and face to face meetings are vital and can be achieved through travel, tourism and hospitality cooperation and this leads to trade, business and investment opportunities. This kind of soft diplomacy is key to international relations and cooperation.

It is truly sad what has happened in Afghanistan, said Deputy Minister Bogdanov, speaking about his father who was there in 1978-79. It was with the USA support of the Mujahidin that later became Al Qaeda, that exacerbated the situation. The situation is further complicated by the heroin and opium drug trade, and USA’s defeat and hasty retreat has left an untenable and tragic situation in the country facing a humanitarian crisis. No country is rushing to recognize the Taliban rule, although negotiations are ongoing, concluded the Deputy Minister.

by Kirtan Bhana