The President of Russia

10/23/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/23/2019 10:27

Meeting with President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Felix Tshisekedi

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

I am very happy to meet with you.

First of all, I would like to express my condolences in connection with the lives lost in a traffic accident and a plane crash in your country. These are always tragic events.

Speaking about our relations, I must say from the start that we view the Democratic Republic of the Congo as one of our most promising partners in Africa, on the African continent. It has substantial trade and investment potential. We know this potential is linked with rich natural resources and the capabilities of your people.

Russian-Congolese cooperation is constructive and based on mutual respect. In the very first months of your independence in 1960, the Soviet Union rendered significant assistance to the government of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. He is a truly legendary man, a legendary fighter for the liberation of African nations from colonialism. He was well known in this country and enjoyed enormous popularity and support among the Soviet people.

Next year we will celebrate the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. Nonetheless, our current meeting is the first contact between our countries at the top level.

Mr President, I am convinced that your visit to Russia will help step up our ties in all areas.

Our trade is still small in absolute figures, but in 2018 it increased by 45 percent. We see good prospects in ore mining. We hope our companies that are interested in working in your country receive support. We are ready to work in other areas as well, for instance, transport engineering and infrastructure. I hope we will now talk about this in more detail.

I would like to thank you for coming to Sochi today.

To be continued.