On October 24, Sochi will host the Russia-Africa Summit, co-chaired by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who also heads the African Union.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari hopes to sign a military technical cooperation deal with Russia at talks with President Vladimir Putin this month that will help it fight Boko Haram militants, Nigeria’s ambassador in Moscow said on Friday.
This is the first event of this level in the history of Russian-African relations, with the heads of all states of the African continent invited, as well as leaders of major subregional associations and organisations.
Since 2015, Russia has signed military agreements with 21 African countries, and in the past decade, it has grown its trade with the continent to $20.4 billion in 2018 from $5.7 billion in 2009.
Forced to find new diplomatic partners as well as markets for arms and goods after United States and European Union’s sanctions for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the rapid growth of this partnership has set off alarm bells in Washington, D.C. and Paris.
The Nigerian leader is due to meet Putin on the sidelines of a Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea city of Sochi amid a push by Moscow to expand its influence in Africa.
“We’re sure that with Russian help we’ll manage to crush Boko Haram, given Russia’s experience combating Islamic State in Syria,” Nigerian envoy Steve Ugbah said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency.