On January 23, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa received Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Pretoria. Sergey Lavrov also held talks with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor.

During these meetings and talks, the parties discussed the entire range of issues pertaining to further strengthening Russian-South African relations of strategic partnership. At the same time, they noted the positive development of diverse and mutually beneficial cooperation, including a steady increase in trade, more active parliamentary and intra-party contacts, as well as expanding scientific, cultural and humanitarian ties.

Moscow and Pretoria voiced their commitment to deepening political dialogue and more actively coordinating their efforts on topical international issues, including interaction at the UN and its specialised agencies, as well as at the G20. They emphasised the need to adapt the UN to modern realities, including the relevance of admitting more African countries to the UN Security Council.

While speaking with the South African leaders, Sergey Lavrov shared his principled assessments and considerations regarding the current geopolitical environment, including the situation in and around Ukraine, as well as about attempts by the United States and the collective West to draw African states into their anti-Russia policy.

In August 2023, South Africa will host the BRICS summit. In this context, the sides expressed confidence that Pretoria’s upcoming chairmanship of this group opened up new opportunities for its future development, including in the context of expanding the partnerships between the five BRICS countries and African states.

While discussing integration processes in Africa, the Russian side noted South Africa’s weighty contribution to strengthening the African Union as the most important regional organisation. While exchanging opinions on the situation in various regional hot spots, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov praised Pretoria’s mediatory role in resolving the Tigray crisis in Ethiopia, South Africa’s efforts within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to normalise the domestic political situation in Lesotho and Eswatini, and to counter the terrorist threat in northern Mozambique.

The discussion also focused on preparations for the second Russia-Africa Summit to be held in July 2023 in St Petersburg. The upcoming summit is called upon to determine the future direction of comprehensive sustainable development of diverse interaction between Russia and African states and to ensure its all-round and long-term nature.