Russian leader Vladimir Putin has told President Cyril Ramaphosa that the BRICS summit in Johannesburg will strengthen ties among its members.
He said the summit will be an opportunity for China, India, Russia, Brazil and South Africa to build on the solid foundation that has been laid over the last few years.
Putin was meeting with Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit.
He also said trade between Moscow and Pretoria will continue to grow over the next few years.
Putin will not physically attend the BRICS summit in Johannesburg from August 22-24.
But he will participate in all sessions virtually.
Ramaphosa announced two weeks ago that the decision for Putin not to physically attend the summit came after he had consulted all the leaders of BRICS.
“Our countries coordinate their actions at the United Nations, the G20 and other multi-format organisations. This year South Africa holds the chairmanship of BRICS. We are interacting closely and efficiently within the association, aiming to boost the strategic partnership of its five member countries. I am confident that the summit you are preparing to host will be very effective. I have no doubt about it. We will make every effort to provide assistance and support to you,”’ Putin told Ramaphosa.
Putin also said Russia will increase its cooperation with South Africa in a number of sectors including in energy, education, agriculture and science.
At the Russia-Africa Summit, it was agreed that it will be held every three years.
The first summit was held in Sochi in 2018, and this year it was held in St Petersburg.
The next one is expected to take place in three years.