Russia hopes for a package of energy and metals deals with African states, a ministry statement said on Friday, March 16, as a government delegation left for South Africa, Angola and Namibia. Some Russian firms however deny having any such plans.
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Russia, Gazprom, Africa, Business & Finance, Angola, Lukoil, Rosneft, Industrial, Mining, Diamonds, South Africa, Namibia, Alrosa, RusAl
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Angolan President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos arrives in Moscow for a three-day visit Monday with an agenda dominated by bilateral economic and international issues, Kremlin press office reported in Monday.
Russia has been seeking to re-establish contacts with African states, including oil-rich Angola, under President Vladimir Putin. The president and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made separate tours of the continent this fall, signaling a fresh interest in business cooperation since the collapse of the Soviet Union, which supplied arms and other goods to Africa in the ideological standoff with the West.
Russia is currently Angolaâ€™s 10th largest partner, according to Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a government daily. But meeting with Lavrov in September, Soviet-educated Dos Santos urged more intensive cooperation with Russia, above all in the development of new iron ore, oil and gas deposits, and space.
The Kremlin press office said: â€œA set of bilateral documents is expected to be signed at the meeting.â€ Other areas of cooperation between Russia and Angola include diamond production, power engineering, and fisheries. Russiaâ€™s largest diamond producer, Alrosa, has about a 40% stake in the Catoca diamond joint venture in Angola, which produces around 6 million carats of crude diamonds a year.
Russian companies are helping the country build the largest hydropower plant in the region, with a capacity of 520 mWt, and are in talks on the construction of power lines. Russian fishing companies also catch up to 25,000 metric tons of sea products a year in Angolan waters.
Angola has shown brisk economic development exploiting its vast mineral resources since the government signed a ceasefire agreement with American-backed UNITA rebels in 2002, following 27 years of bloody civil war. The country, which was in ruins several years ago, plans to export up to 2 million barrels of oil annually, largely to the United States and China, by 2008, RIA Novosti reports.
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