“This debt burden hindered the development of cooperation and interaction between our companies and African countries, because, having a lot of debt, companies could not legally go to any new projects. And so there was a clearing, ”RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.
Peskov added that "these debts are ephemeral, bad, but now a whole field has been cleared." Now, he said, Russian companies have the opportunity to work, pay “large taxes, including to the Russian budget,” and also create employment.
“Expansion into global and African markets. Therefore, this is an absolutely mutually beneficial, substantive, pragmatic approach to conducting trade and economic relations, ”the presidential spokesman said.
Peskov added that the cancellation of debts was done a long time ago and this is not the result of the last few days.
Thus, the World Bank and the IMF initiated a program to alleviate the debt burden of African countries in 1996, and Russia joined this initiative.
“Then in 2006 there was a government decree, and then these debts were written off,” he said.
On October 23, it was reported that the total amount of debts written off by Russia to African countries exceeded $ 20 billion.
At the same time, on October 24, it became known that during the Russia-Africa economic forum, agreements worth more than 800 billion rubles were concluded, and Russia in the coming years will double its food supply to African countries.
Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, corresponding member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Irina Abramova, in an interview with the publication PolitExpert, evaluated the prospects for cooperation between Russia and African countries.