President Cyril Ramaphosa has left for Russia where he will attend the Russia-Africa summit, which starts on Thursday in St Petersburg.
The summit will look at the three-year plan for Russia and Africa in terms of strengthening trade relations.
South Africa will also use the summit to discuss the programme of BRICS.
The first summit was held in 2019 in Sochi and this is the second time it is being held and it will be in St. Petersburg with Russia saying most of the heads of state from Africa will attend.
“This second summit is expected to consider four declarations and a three-year Action Plan, which will be presented for consideration,” Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.
“These submissions will focus on strengthening cooperation between Russia and African states in politics, security, trade, science, IT, humanitarian support, education, culture, sports, youth and the environment.”
Ramaphosa will also meet President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
This is a follow up meeting after Ramaphosa and six other heads of state and government from Africa met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv and Putin in St. Petersburg in June.
Putin’s office confirmed that he will meet with African leaders on the sidelines of the summit to discuss the conflict in Ukraine.
It said Putin will open the summit and lay out a plan for it.
The summit will also discuss trade relations between Russia and the continent.
“In addition, Vladmir Putin and the leaders of a number of African states will continue to discuss possible ways of settling the situation around Ukraine within the African peace initiative, which they launched in St. Petersburg in June,” said Putin’s office.
“The president of Russia will hold bilateral conversations with all heads of African states taking part in the summit.”
Ramaphosa led the peace mission to Kyiv and St. Peresburg and and it also included President Macky Sall of Senegal, Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia, the President of Comoros Azali Assoumani, the Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly and leaders from Congo-Brazzaville and Uganda.
Magwenya said the president will meet with Putin to discuss the Ukraine situation.
“The summit background will also offer an opportunity to African Heads of State who are part of the African Leaders Peace Mission to continue talks with President Putin on the confidence-building measures that will create conducive conditions for a path to peace between Russia and Ukraine,” he said.
“South Africa will use the summit backdrop to further engage Russia at a bilateral level to finalise the contents and substance of the upcoming BRICS summit.”