Opening the meeting, the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Alexander Babakov
Alexander Mikhailovich , on behalf of the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin Volodin
Vyacheslav Victorovich The Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation of the eighth convocation. Elected in single mandate constituency № 163 (Saratov constituency - Saratov Oblast) , welcomed the meeting participants and thanked colleagues from African countries for participating in the Conference.
“This moment opens another new page. Over the years, it has become possible to start a constructive dialogue that will bring our countries closer together,” emphasized Alexander Babakov.
The Deputy Chairman of the State Duma said that not only large, but also small Russian companies were interested in cooperation with Africa. He also briefly informed the participants about the structure of the Russian parliament and its political composition.
Sergey Pavlov, the First Deputy General Director of OJSC Russian Railways International, noted the prospects for the further cooperation with African countries. According to him, the Russian Railways is one of the largest railway companies in the world. He invited African colleagues to exchange views and advanced technologies.
Potential areas of cooperation between Russia and African countries in the field of shipbuilding were mentioned by Andrey Buzinov, First Deputy General Director of the United Shipbuilding Corporation. He stressed that USC operated on the whole territory of Russia: the corporation includes 40 shipyards and construction bureaus. The USC products are in demand all over the world, according to him. These are both transport, research, nuclear and naval ships.
“The African continent is a strategic partner. We believe that the time has come to turn friendly relations into practical realities, and we are ready to develop cooperation based on various financial mechanisms,” said Andrey Buzinov.
Kirill Budaev, Director of Department of Marketing and Sales of Civil Aircraft of the Irkut Corporation, spoke about the development of civil aircraft industry. He mentioned the Il-114 passenger aircraft, which may be interesting for African countries: the model is suitable for airfields without artificial turf runways.
Maxim Andrianov, head of the department of the Russian Helicopters, made a report on the future and possibilities of helicopter technologies at the meeting.
“The African continent is a traditional partner of the company: about 30% of the market belongs to our company's helicopters, most of which are heavy,” said Maxim Andrianov.
The company also develops drones for various purposes, depending on the needs, including for transportation of goods and the monitoring of environmental protection, according to a company representative said.
The Chairman of the Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environment Protection Dmitry
Dmitry Nikolaevich spoke about cooperation between Russia and African countries in the field of exploration and extraction of natural resources in the interests of national economies.
“The new economy has new demand for energy resources, minerals such as platinum, lithium, cobalt, rare earth metals. But interest in oil and gas still remains. Our countries have significant resources and are able to meet the needs of the world economy,” stressed the parliamentarian.
Russia and African countries will have to defend their interests, “we always stand for the equitable use of resources”, according to Dmitry Kobylkin. “Our natural resources must first of all be used for the citizens of our countries,” he emphasized.
According to the Chairman of the Committee, it is necessary to legislatively strengthen the ESG requirements for transnational companies, measures for the social and environmental responsibility of mining enterprises. Russia has relevant experience in this area and is ready to share its experience with African countries, as said Dmitry Kobylkin.
On 19–20 March 2023, the State Duma hosts the Second International Parliamentary Conference “Russia – Africa” in Moscow.
More than 40 official parliamentary delegations from almost all African countries will take part in the Conference. Representatives of the scientific, educational and expert communities from Russia and African countries, members of the State Duma, federal executive authorities, senators of the Federation Council, chairmen of the legislative bodies of the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, representatives of the business community will also take part in the events of the Conference.
The objectives of the Conference are to strengthen parliamentary cooperation with African countries in the conditions of formation of a multipolar world, to develop relations and develop common approaches to legal regulation in the economy, science and education and security.
On March 19, on the first day of the Conference, there will be held the following round tables:
- Parliamentary Support of Scientific and Educational Cooperation
- Legislative Response to Economic Challenges
- Indivisible Security: Capabilities and Contributions of Parliaments
- Neocolonialism of the West: How to Prevent the Repetition of History.
On March 19, there will be also held a business breakfast with participation of the parliamentary delegations of African states and Russian business representatives.
On March 20, there will be held a plenary session of the International Parliamentary Conference entitled “Russia-Africa in the multipolar world”.
As part of the events of the Conference, the Chairman of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin will hold bilateral meetings with several heads of delegations, speakers of parliaments and chambers of parliaments of African countries.
The Conference is planned to be held just few months before the Second Russia-Africa Summit, which is planned to be held on July 2023 in Saint Petersburg.
The First International Conference “Russia – Africa” was held in Moscow in 2019.