Embassy of
the Russian Federation
in the Republic of South Africa

Chancery
tel: +2712 362-1337
fax: +2712 362-0116
ruspospr@mweb.co.za

Consular Section
tel: +2712 362-7116
fax: +2712 362-7090
pretoria@dks.ru

   RUS

updated 7:11 AM UTC, Jun 14, 2017

Press release on the exchange of messages of greetings between Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and South African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane have exchanged messages on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries marked on February 28. In their messages, they noted that the friendly relations between Russia and South Africa have deep roots and have advanced to the level of strategic partnership over the past 25 years.

The ministers highly assessed trust-based political dialogue between their countries and their fruitful cooperation at the UN, BRICS and G20. They also expressed their countries’ resolve to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic, scientific, technological, cultural and other forms of cooperation.

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of South Africa

25 RS 1ENG

 

Diplomatic relations between Russia and the Republic of South Africa were established 25 years ago on February 28.

Russia provided all-round assistance to the struggle waged by the African National Congress against the apartheid. The establishment of diplomatic relations was a logical stage in South Africa’s socio-political movement towards the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.

A regular and trust-based dialogue at the summit level is a distinctive feature of Russian-South African political contacts. President of Russia Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Cape Town in 2006 (when the sides signed a Treaty of Friendship and Partnership) and a working visit to Durban for a BRICS summit in 2013 (Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership). President Jacob Zuma visited Russia seven times: on an official visit in 2010 and on working visits in 2011, 2013 (a working visit in May 2013 plus a G20 summit in September 2013), 2014 and 2015 (Victory Day celebrations in Moscow in May 2015 and a BRICS summit in July 2015). The presidents of Russia and South Africa regularly exchange messages on current issues of bilateral cooperation.

Russia and South Africa closely coordinate their foreign policy actions based on similar or identical views on a multipolar world order, respect for international law and the UN’s leading role in global affairs, stronger information security, the settlement of regional conflicts, and the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. Russia and South Africa are also fruitfully cooperating in the G20.

They also cooperate constructively in BRICS, which meets their national interests and is facilitating the progressive development of the group and strengthening its global political and economic positions.

Russia and South Africa maintain contact between their parliaments. A group on cooperation with the National Council of Provinces, the upper house of the South African Parliament, was established at the Russian Parliament’s Federation Council (upper house) in 2015.

Economic cooperation between the two countries is coordinated by the Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation co-chaired by Russian Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Donskoy and Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Bilateral trade amounted to $750 million in 2016 (Russian exports to South Africa totalled $207 million and imports from South Africa $543 million).

Russian companies working in South Africa include Renova (manganese ore mining, manganese and iron alloy production and solar energy projects), Severstal (hot briquetted iron production) and Renaissance Capital (financial services). Russia’s Rosgeologia and the South African oil and gas corporation Petro SA have signed an agreement on cooperation in offshore hydrocarbon exploration and production in South Africa. In 2014, the governments of Russia and South Africa signed an agreement on strategic partnership and cooperation in nuclear energy and industry. Several companies with South African capital are active in Russia, including SABMiller, Mondi, Naspers, Bateman, Bell and Standard Bank.  

The Joint Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation is focused on cooperation in nuclear research and the creation of medical and supercomputer technology. On February 27, 2017, Roscosmos State Corporation activated a Russian quantum optical system at a tracking station at Hartebeesthoek, west of Pretoria.

The cross-cultural seasons that were held in South Africa and Russia in November and December 2016 included concerts by Russian musicians and singers in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, photo exhibitions and workshops for South African university students and faculty, as well as concerts by South African dance and singing groups in Moscow and St Petersburg.

 

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s address and answers to questions at the 53rd Munich Security Conference

127A4032

 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Ten years ago, President of Russia Vladimir Putin addressed this conference with a speech that many in the West saw as a challenge and even a threat, although what his message emphasised above all was the need to renounce unilateral action in favour of honest cooperation based on mutual respect, international law, joint assessment of global problems and collective decision-making. Unfortunately, the warnings he sounded then about the negative consequences of attempting to obstruct the emergence of a multipolar world have become reality. 

Humanity stands at a crossroads today. The historic era that could be called the post-Cold War order has come to an end. Its main result, as we see it, was the complete failure of the Cold War institutions to adapt to new realities. The world has become neither ‘Western-centric’, nor a safer and more stable place. This is evident in the results of ‘democratisation’ in the Middle East and North Africa, and in other places too.

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On the passing away of Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations

Churkin

 

On 20 February 2017 Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Vitaly Churkin passed away in New York.

We are shocked with these news. Vitaly Churkin was an outstanding diplomat, professional of highest regard, a true patriot and a wonderful person. He fully devoted himself to his work, passed away in his office.

This loss weighs heavy on all of us, both Russian diplomats and entire diplomatic community.

On behalf of the Embassy’s leadership and staff we express our deepest condolences to the family and relatives of this outstanding Russian diplomat. The precious memory of Vitaly Churkin will continue to live on in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

Please send your messages of condolence to the following email: ruspospr@mweb.co.za

 

 

Vitaly Churkin’s Biography

 

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin has been Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations since 2006.

Previously he was Ambassador at Large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation (2003-2006), Ambassador to Canada (1998-2003), Ambassador to Belgium and Liaison Ambassador to NATO and WEU (1994-1998), Deputy Foreign Minister and Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation to the talks on Former Yugoslavia (1992-1994), Director of the Information Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR/Russian Federation (1990-1992).

Ambassador Churkin held a Ph.D. in history and was a graduate of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

 

Foreign Ministry statement on the rapidly deteriorating situation in Donbass

The situation in Donbass has deteriorated sharply in recent days. Ukrainian troops continue to conduct offensive operations to seize positions held by self-defence forces, including in the suburbs of Donetsk. Heavy weapons, including heavy artillery and multiple launch rocket systems, are being actively used to shell residential areas. According to Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, such weapons should long since have been withdrawn from the contact line. There are casualties and wounded among the civilian population. As a result of the shelling by Ukrainian troops, the Donetsk Filtration Station and the Avdeyevka Coke Chemical Plant have lost power. The lives of miners working in the mines are under threat.

We see southeastern Ukraine, which is already suffering from the economic blockade imposed by Kiev, again on the verge of a real humanitarian and environmental disaster.

All of this is a direct outcome of ongoing violations by Ukraine of its obligations under the Minsk agreements, which no one in Kiev intends to act on. Instead of efforts to achieve sustainable peace, the Ukrainian authorities are trying hard to achieve a military solution to the conflict. Everyone should remember what kind of outcome this kind of reckless behaviour has led to on previous occasions.

Strangely enough, every escalation of the situation in Donbass comes at a time when the Ukrainian leadership is away on a foreign trip. Clearly, this is an attempt to keep the crisis provoked by Kiev on the international agenda.

We urge the Ukrainian authorities to immediately put an end to the armed provocations in Donbass, comply with existing ceasefire agreements and begin, at long last, to responsibly fulfil all the provisions of the Minsk Package of Measures, including those relating to the political aspects of the existing problems.

We expect Ukraine’s partners to exert the necessary influence on Kiev to put an end to these efforts to turn the tables in Donbass and sink the Minsk agreements.

We expect a quick response on the part of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine in order to de-escalate the situation as soon as possible.

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