Olga Kulkova: BRICS is one of Russia's key platforms for global dialogue

TANGIER /Morocco/, November 10. Russia uses the BRICS platform to promote the idea that Africa is a fast-growing center of power in international relations and global economy, Olga Kulkova, Research Fellow at the Center for Studies of Russian-African Relations, the Institute for African Studies in Moscow, told TASS on Friday.

"I think that BRICS is one of the main platforms for global dialogues for Russia. We get access to the African population through the framework of BRICS, to which the Republic of South Africa belongs, and develop projects together with our partners within the organization. As of today more than 30 biggest Russian companies already operate in Africa, though in my view Russia still lacks a full-fledged strategy for developing relations with all African countries," she said.

"However, we have stable bilateral relations with a number of African states. Russia has had long-standing partners since the struggle for independence in African countries. Morocco is one of those important partners. Amid sanctions and counter-sanctions the Russian economy needs new partners, it is necessary to tap new African markets and keep relations with long-standing partners, expand them in new areas," the expert added.

According to Kulkova, "the visit of Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev to Morocco in October once again proved that the relations with the kingdom are of a strategic partnership, which concerns various fields, including agriculture, energy, new technologies and more." "Russia has much to offer to Morocco, and we appreciate the kingdom’s friendly attitude to Russian business and Russian initiatives," she said.

"I think that Russia uses BRICS to promote the understanding that Africa is a fast-growing center of power in international relations and global economy. As of today not a single big global power can do without building relations with the African continent, (no one) can ignore it," Kulkova said.

"There is a number of emerging economies in Africa, such as Nigeria, Egypt, Kenia, Rwanda, which demonstrate high economic growth rates and have huge demographic potential. BRICS is an open framework, not a closed club, which is why I think that one or several African countries may well become members of this integration in the future," she said.

According to the expert, "the BRICS countries will be increasingly interested in expanding cooperation with Africa in various formats, which may result in providing other African countries with an opportunity to be represented in BRICS.".