African countries’ debts totaling more than $20 billion were written off in the past year, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on March 20. Putin also revealed that trade between Russia and Africa had nearly reached $18 billion by the end of the year. According to the Russian leader, the majority of the world is opposed to the West’s “neo-colonial” ideology.
Putin Wants Trade Between Russia and Africa Bolstered
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in 2022 Moscow wrote off debts of African countries that totaled over $20 billion. During the same year, trade between the two sides nearly topped $18 billion.
Speaking at a recent international conference, Putin, whose country has been hit by Western sanctions, also talked about the possibility of increasing the value of trade between the two regions.
“It is unlikely that such a figure can fully suit us, but we know that this is far from the limit,” Putin reportedly said.
Besides bolstering direct trade between his country and the African continent, the Russian leader also spoke about his envisioned global financial system that is not dominated by the U.S. dollar. After Russia invaded Ukraine, Western countries responded by imposing sanctions on Moscow and cutting off the country from the global financial system.
To counter the West’s move, Russia has not only advocated for an alternative to the dollar-dominated financial system, but has signed bilateral agreements with countries like China and India. Under the terms of some of the agreements, national currencies are used to settle trades.
Meanwhile, in his message to African countries, Putin also talked about the development of what he called “counter-commodity exchanges.” The Russian leader claimed that a “more energetic transition in financial settlements to national currencies” as well as “the establishment of new transport and logistics chains” may facilitate the development of the envisioned commodity exchanges.
Concerning what he termed the Western countries’ “neo-colonial ideology,” Putin claimed that the majority of the world still “upholds moral norms and social principles traditional for our peoples” and is opposed to ideals that are imposed from outside.
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Terence Zimwara is a Zimbabwe award-winning journalist, author and writer. He has written extensively about the economic troubles of some African countries as well as how digital currencies can provide Africans with an escape route.
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