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“We intend to transform this group into a full-fledged mechanism for cooperating on global economic and political issues,” said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This was the third time in less than a year that President Putin has met his South African counterpart Jacob Zuma, the Russian president described this as a sign of the growing ties between the two nations.
“I believe that as partners in BRICS we need to have a lot in common. As I indicated when you were in South Africa – South Africa’s membership to BRICS to us, it means, in a way, Africa’s membership to BRICS. And therefore that is actually very important,” President Zuma told Putin.
“It is a sign that we pay a great deal of attention to each other, and we believe that relations between the Republic of South Africa and Russia have good prospects,” Putin said.
“In fact, we have very good political contacts, not only bilaterally but also in the international arena, within a variety of key international organisations,” he added.
Putin reiterated Russia’s assistance to South Africa in developing an advanced nuclear power industry.
“We see great potential for cooperation in nuclear energy. Russia is ready to provide assistance in creating a comprehensive nuclear energy industry in South Africa,” Putin said during the press statements following talks.
Currently, South Africa has two nuclear reactors accounting for five per cent of the country’s electricity.
South Africa is seeking to expand its nuclear energy sector, planning a further 9,600 MW capacity in the next decade.
The two countries vowed to partner in other energy projects, including development of alternative energy sources.
“The president has given a lot of details in that area. I don’t think I need to repeat, except to say that we feel we are on the right move in terms of deepening our relations. And today’s meeting will go a long way to ensure that they are strengthened, they are broadened,” Zuma added.
The situation in Syria was also discussed during the talks.
“We agreed on further coordinating positions on peaceful settlement of the conflict in Syria. We are determined to continue to work to end violence and external interference as quickly as possible and will encourage the maintenance of Syria’s territorial integrity and sovereignty,” Putin said.