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Russian President to visit Angola for the first time

26 june 2009

The official visit of Dmitry Medvedyev to Angola to take place late Friday and last only a few hours.
Within the scope of the visit Dmitry Medvedyev will conduct negotiations with Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, hold a meeting with the Chairman of Angolan Parliament and participate in a rout.
Russian President is visiting Angola for the first time in recent history of bilateral relationship. He will start this visit from the ceremony of laying of wreath to the monument of the first Angolan President Agostinho Neto.
Aides to Russian President Sergey Prikhodko told Interfax agency that the practical issues of trade and economic relations to be the main subject of negotiations scheduled, particularly the measures aimed at accretion of intermutual stock turnover which amounted for $76.3M during the year of 2008.
“One of the main line of cooperation to be development of diamond minefields in Angola. Diamond mining projects Catoca and LUO(Kamachia-Kamajiku) with the participation of Russian-based ALROSA are operating in Angola and joint exploration works are being effected at Kakolu diamond deposit,” – Prikhodko said.
Meanwhile Prikhodko emphasized on the fact that Russia is not going to keep in with the issues of diamond and military technical cooperation during negotiations in Luanda. “We are to discuss a variety of interaction between our states from space sphere to human resources,” – he said.
As a source from The Kremlin previously told Interfax, the issues of military technical cooperation to be discussed within the scope of Medvedyev’s visit to Nigeria, Namibia and Angola, however Russia does not expect large-scale contracts to be signed.
“We do not set a top-task to reach breakthrough results during these visits in military sphere,” – the source added. “The question is more likely to be the technical maintenance of military equipment bought from the USSR as well as military training of African soldiers in Russia,” – he claimed.
According to the Kremlin representative, joint projects with the named African states could be more perspective and attractive “ajoint civil and military areas, such as collaboration in Earth remote sensing.” Moreover, the source stressed, the issue of solvency of Russian partners per military technical collaboration is a matter of principle.
This opinion was backed by the expert of Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Ruslan Aliev. He said that African countries are interested in obtaining of Russian weapons and military equipment, primarily Protection Against Aircraft, helicopters and small arms, however Russia should hardly expect conclusion of beg deals due to unfavourable cash position of African economies.
He added that Angola is not interested in updated PAA systems but needs armor, small arms, transmission facilities and maybe motor boats.
As Prikhodko noted, development of hydrocarbon reserves is perspective line for Russian-Angolan collaboration. Besides ALROSA which has got oil geologic exploration lisences for the areas of Kwanga and Congo rivers basins, a number of Russian companies have taken steps to approach Angolan commodities market. For example, business ties are organized between OJSC Zarubezhneft and Angolan state oil company SONANGOL.
During negotiations the issues of large-scale joint projects promotion to be discussed (including high tech projects). Russian companies are to be involved in implementation of the state satellite communication system of Angola (ANGOSAT).
Good opportunities on power cooperation are available. At present the issue of participation of OJSC VO Technopromexport in construction of two large hydropower stations at Kwanga river is tackled.
Special emphasis will be put on discussion of topical international issues with a view to further enhance of interaction between Russia and Angola.
“We expect to conduct profound exchange of opinions on tackling problems arose due to global economic recession as well as establishment of effective and fair international system of economy processes management, securing of international energy supply, development of integration process on the African continent,” – Prikhodko said.
Prikhodko added that following the results of negotiations a communique to be adopted, as well as middle-term program on economic, research and technology and trade collaboration for 2009-2013, agreement on investment encouragement and protection, some documents on educational cooperation, a package of contracts for ANGOSAT project and memorandum of cooperation between Zarubezhneft and Angolan state oil company to be signed.