President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia and the African leaders attending a summit in Saint Petersburg had agreed to promote a multipolar world order and to fight neo-colonialism.
Putin hailed the “commitment of all our states to the formation of a just and democratic multipolar world order” during a statement to the media following the summit.
The Russian leader also mentioned the “joint determination to counter neo-colonialism, the practice of applying illegitimate sanctions, and attempts to undermine traditional moral values.”
The two-days summit was seen as a test of Russia’s support in Africa, where Russia retains backing despite international isolation sparked by the military intervention in Ukraine.
Putin said participants “demonstrated their independence and real interest in developing cooperation with our country.”
The representatives of 49 countries, including 17 heads of state, had confirmed they would attend.
Participants signed a joint declaration that called for “the establishment of a more just, balanced and stable multipolar world order, firmly opposing all types of international confrontation in the African continent.”
It said that Russia would support African countries’ efforts to “ensure compensation for colonial policies, including the restitution of cultural property displaced in the process of colonial plundering.”
The meeting took place around ten days after Russia withdrew from a deal that protected Ukrainian grain exports.
The suspension of the deal — that helped to stabilise global food prices and avert shortages — increased fears of a global food crisis.
The Russian leader said his country would “continue to supply African friends with grain crops both on a contractual basis and free of charge.”
He said Ukraine would be discussed with some African countries at a dinner on Friday.
Putin also said the leaders had agreed to improve cooperation on aid, energy and trade, including by “consistently switching to national currencies for commercial transactions.”