Russia aims to double trade with Africa in 5 years: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) meets with President of Namibia Hage Geingob on the sidelines of the 2019 Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on October 23, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 23 October 2019

Russia aims to double trade with Africa in 5 years: Putin

  • “In Africa there are very many potential partners with good prospects.”

SOCHI, Russia: President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia would aim to double trade with Africa over the next five years, at the opening of a summit aimed at reviving Moscow’s ties with the continent.
“We currently export to Africa $25 billion worth of food — which is more than we export in arms, at $15 billion. In the next four to five years I think we should be able to double this trade, at least,” he told African leaders at the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“In Africa there are very many potential partners with good prospects.”

FASTFACTS

• Russia has written off more than $20 billion of African debt.

• Putin has promised cooperation without ‘political or other’ interference.

• Russia’s trade with Africa is less than half that of France with the continent, and 10 times less than that of China.

Putin said the current level of trade between Moscow and the continent was “not enough.”
“African countries are attracting ever more attention from Russian businesses,” the president added, highlighting a number of major Russian companies that were already working on the continent.
Dozens of African leaders are in Sochi for the first Russia-Africa Summit, as Moscow seeks greater influence on a continent where the West and China have a firm foothold.
The two-day event will see more than 3,000 delegates prepare deals and discuss topics from nuclear technology to mineral extraction.


Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

Updated 01 June 2020

Arab News recording exposes Nissan lawyer’s lie on IMF bailout for Lebanon

LONDON: Arab News has published the recording of an interview with a Nissan lawyer after he denied saying that a bailout of Lebanon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was linked to the extradition of fugitive tycoon Carlos Ghosn.

The former Nissan chairman fled to Beirut in December from Japan, where he faced charges of financial wrongdoing.

In a story published in Arab News Japan on Saturday, Sakher El Hachem, Nissan’s legal representative in Lebanon, said the multibillion-dollar IMF bailout was contingent on Ghosn being handed back to Japan. 

The lawyer said IMF support for Lebanon required Japan’s agreement. Lebanese officials had told him: “Japan will assist Lebanon if Ghosn gets extradited,” the lawyer said

“For Japan to agree on that they want the Lebanese authorities to extradite Ghosn, otherwise they won’t provide Lebanon with financial assistance. Japan is one of the IMF’s major contributors … if Japan vetoes Lebanon then the IMF won’t give Lebanon money, except after deporting Ghosn.”

On Sunday, El Hachem denied making the comments. “The only thing I told the newspaper was that there should have been a court hearing on April 30 in Lebanon, but it was postponed because of the pandemic,” he said. In response, Arab News published the recording of the interview, in which he can be clearly heard making the statements attributed to him. 

Japan issued an arrest warrant after Ghosn, 66, escaped house arrest and fled the country.

Now listen to the recording: