Russia-Africa Summit: VP Shettima Holds Talks with President Putin

Jesse Voyamba

Vice-President Kashim Shettima had on Thursday met with Russian President, Vladimir Putin, at the ongoing second Russia-Africa economic and humanitarian summit in St. Petersburg. He is representing President Bola Tinubu.

The summit, which commenced on July 27 and is set to conclude on July 28, is the most significant event in the history of Russian-African diplomatic relations. It aims to strengthen the relations between Russia and the African continent, among other benefits.

During the summit, Vice-President Shettima participated in bilateral discussions with key Russian government officials and business leaders, including a significant meeting with the management of Russian Aluminum Company – UC RUSAL. One of the focal points of the deliberations was the revitalization of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON). He reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of the Tinubu administration to engage with industry stakeholders to achieve this goal.

This was made known through a statement by his media office.

Speaking after a presentation by the UC-RUSAL management, Vice President Shettima noted the enormous benefits for the economy in many aspects such as in the area of energy transition, job creation both directly and indirectly, and its impact on the development of small businesses was also huge.

“The sooner we get this plant back to production, the better for everyone. We need to walk the talk; the Nigerian people deserve better,” he said.

While declaring the summit open, President Putin noted that the potential for trade and economic cooperation between Russia and African countries is much higher than the trade turnover of USD 18 billion seen in 2022.

He reiterated his country’s commitment to food security in Africa and beyond, stressing that “Russia will continue to work towards shaping a more equitable global food distribution system.”