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SA, Russia relations remains strong- Minister Nxesi

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South Africa’s relations with the Russian Federation remains strong, says Acting Public Service and Administration, Minister Mr Thulas Nxesi.

“The historical links between South Africa and the Russian Federation remain strong. Both South Africa and Russia held a number of events through our respective Embassies that are aimed at highlighting this milestone in both countries throughout 2022.

“We are proud to enjoy excellent diplomatic relations with your country which is a valued strategic partner for South Africa,” the Minister said.

Minister Nxesi was speaking at the event to celebrate the National Day of the Russian Federation on Monday. 

The celebration marks the anniversary of the decision by Russia on 12 June 1991, to hold its first free and fair elections, and further marks the adoption of the Declaration of Russian State Sovereignty.

“South Africa’s bilateral relations with the Russian Federation are informed by political, economic, social, defence and security cooperation.

“On behalf of President Ramaphosa, the Government, and the people of South Africa, I wish to congratulate the Government, and the people of the Russian Federation, and you, Your Excellency, on this important day – and wish the Russian Federation a joyful, peaceful, and prosperous National Day.

“It is therefore, not surprising that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries, a number of bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding have been signed covering a broad spectrum of sectors and issues including trade; tourism; agriculture; mining; medicine, and education; and many more are still under consideration,” said the Minister.

According to Minister Nxesi, this year, marks an important milestone since the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation.

The rich history of the relationship dates to the period of the majority of South Africans’ quest for their political and economic freedom and the support that the Russian Federation, as part of the Soviet Union provided.

“Furthermore, several high-level visits as well as engagements on the margins of international and multilateral fora have taken place over the years.

“The 30-year Anniversary of diplomatic relations between South Africa and Russia is an opportunity for both sides to give further impetus to deepening ties between the two countries as we believe that together we can join hands with the world and fight for lasting peace,” he said.  

“Multilateralism lies at the heart of the biggest issues facing the world today: promoting peace and security, trade, and human rights, ending hunger, preventing health epidemics, tackling climate change, and protecting the environment.

These issues go beyond individual countries and cultures.

“The African continent has witnessed and overcome numerous conflicts, these have had a devastating effect on our countries both politically and economically and on our peoples.

“As a continent, we continue to endeavour to work towards peaceful resolution of conflict situations, and the importance of diplomacy and peace in the resolution of disputes cannot be over emphasised.

“South Africa stands ready to support the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa and globally. South Africa believes that it is only through dialogue that peaceful and lasting solutions can be found,” he said.