President Ramaphosa congratulates Putin on re-election

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday sent his congratulatory message to Vladimir Putin following his re-election for a further five-year term as president.

According to preliminary data released by the Central Election Commission (CEC) on Monday, Putin won a record 76.67% of votes with over 56 million people voting in favour of him.

President Ramaphosa said this overwhelming victory demonstrated that the people of the Russian Federation have faith in the leadership of President Putin.

In a statement, President Ramaphosa said he looked “forward to further strengthening the already existing political, economic and trade ties between South Africa and the Russian Federation”.

South Africa and Russia enjoy close ties dating back to the days of the struggle against apartheid.

Between January and July 2012, South Africa’s exports to Russia were estimated at R2.4 billion, which included vegetables at R1.1 billion, iron and steel at R503 million, and mineral products at R369 million.

There were also 15 000 tourist arrivals from Russia in 2015. This is a significant increase from 10 410 in 2014.

The two countries also share common views and perspectives on several regional and multilateral issues, including matters relating to Africa, BRICS, the UN and the G20.

President Ramaphosa said he looks forward to furthering engagement on these and other matters of mutual interest and concern. 

President Putin is expected to visit South Africa in July when he attends the 10th BRICS Summit which will be hosted in Johannesburg. – SAnews.gov.za

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