12 May 2023 20:36

Putin, South African president discuss strategic partnership between two countries, Ukraine settlement - Kremlin

MOSCOW. May 12 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa have had a telephone conversation at the initiative of the South African side, the Kremlin press service said.

"The sides discussed current issues relating to the Russian-South African strategic partnership. They expressed determination to further intensify mutually beneficial ties in various fields," the Russian presidential press service said in a statement on Friday.

The two presidents noted during their conversation that "it is important to continue close coordination between Russia and South Africa in the context of preparations for big multilateral events, in particular the upcoming second Russia-Africa summit, which is due to be held in St. Petersburg in late July, and the BRICS summit under South African chairmanship in Johannesburg in August," it said.

Discussing global food security, "the Russian side reiterated its readiness to deliver significant volumes of grain and fertilizer to African states in need, including on a free-of-charge basis," it said.

"Backing the idea articulated by Ramaphosa that a group of African leaders could take part in discussing the prospects for settling the Ukraine conflict, Putin expressed principled assessments of the Kiev regime's destructive stance and that of its patrons, and noted that the Russian side had never refused to work along diplomatic lines," it said.

The two presidents agreed to continue contacts at various levels, the Kremlin said.