President Cyril Ramaphosa congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin following his election victory. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency/ ANA

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday congratulated his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin following his election victory.

Ramaphosa, on behalf of the government and the people of South Africa, congratulated Putin, for his re-elected for a further five-year term.

In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation Ramaphosa said the "overwhelming victory" as announced on Monday, "demonstrated that the people of the Russian Federation have faith in the leadership of President Putin".

Ramaphosa said he looked forward to further strengthening the already existing political, economic and trade ties between South Africa and the Russian Federation.

Read more: Putin secures victory in Russia amidst ballot stuffing allegations

South Africa and the Russian Federation enjoy close ties dating back to the days of the struggle against apartheid. Direct contacts between the former USSR and the ANC were established on a regular basis during 1963.

With the dissolution of the USSR, South Africa became the first African state to recognise the independence of the Russian Federation. Full diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation were established in February 1992.

South Africa and the Russian Federation share common views and perspectives on several regional and multilateral issues, including matters relating to Africa, Brics, the UN and the G20.

Ramaphosa said he looks forward to "further engagement" on these and other matters of mutual interest and concern. Putin is expected to visit South Africa in July this year to attend the 10th Brics Summit.

African News Agency/ANA