Russian President Vladmir Putin has congratulated African countries and leaders on the occasion of the Africa Day celebration, hailing the close relationship between the continent and Russia.
In a message signed by Putin and obtained from the Russian Embassy in Abuja yesterday, Putin said the day symbolises the aspiration of the countries of Africa to freedom, peace and prosperity.
He added that the celebration was significant to both Russia and Africa as it reaffirms the relationship of the duo which dates back to the colonial era.
“This holiday assumes special significance in the run-up to the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and people celebrated this year.
“Decades ago, when many African Peoples were just embarking on the path of sovereign development, our country provided them with active political support, extensive assistance in the social and economic sphere, and training of civilian and military personnel.
“Today, African countries are Russia’s significant and promising partners, who enjoy well-deserved authority on the global arena and play an active role in addressing topical international issues,” he said.
Putin noted that the Russia-Africa Summit which held in 2019 in Sochi, turned out to be an exclusively important milestone in the development of Russian-African relations.
According to him, the dialogue between Russia and Adrican countries has been brought to a qualitatively new level.
“The Russia-Africa Partnership Forum established during the Summit will undoubtedly contribute to building up mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and coordinating efforts to counter the threats and challenges of our time.
“Including the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a serious test for our Countries and Peoples.
“I whole-heartedly wish you good health, prosperity and every success in your state activities, and peace and prosperity to all your compatriots,” Putin said.