Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday said Moscow has forgiven debts of African states worth more than $20 billion.
Speaking at an international parliamentary conference titled “Russia-Africa in a Multipolar World,” Putin said the trade turnover between Russia and African countries is growing every year, reaching almost $18 billion in 2022.
"It is unlikely that such a figure can fully suit us, but we know that this is far from the limit," he added.
Putin also said he believed that "the development of counter-commodity exchanges will be facilitated by a more energetic transition in financial settlements to national currencies, and the establishment of new transport and logistics chains."
He further said: "Additional opportunities are opened up by the process of establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which began in 2021, which in the future will become a continental market with a total GDP of more than $3 trillion."
Russia, he said, is in favor of establishing ties with AfCFTA both through the Eurasian Economic Union and on a bilateral level, adding that Africa will become one of the leaders of the multipolar world.
"The states of Africa are constantly increasing their weight and their role in world affairs, they are asserting themselves more and more confidently in politics and in the economy. We are convinced that Africa will become one of the leaders in the emerging new multipolar world order," Putin added.
He said Russia and the countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are against the neo-colonial ideology.
"Russia and African countries uphold moral norms and social principles traditional for our peoples, and oppose neo-colonial ideology imposed from outside," he said. "Many states of Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America adhere to similar positions, and together we make up the world majority."