Her department said the visit will seek to secure some form of commitment from the Russians on how to further strengthen and broaden commercial relations between the two countries.
During the visit, Nkoana-Mashabane will hold bilateral discussions with the Minister of Natural Resources, Yuri Trutnev, in their shared capacities as Co-Chairs of the Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade and Cooperation.
Other issues to be discussed include the preparations for President Jacob Zuma's visit to Russia, which is scheduled for August.
In this regard, Nkoana-Mashabane will seek to fast-track draft agreements that will be signed during Zuma’s visit.
These agreements are the Agreement on the Promotion of Aviation Safety; the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Plant Quarantine; and the MoU on Cooperation in Space Science and Technology.
“Minister Nkoana-Mashabane’s working visit will seek to secure some form of commitment from the Russians on how to further strengthen and broaden commercial relations; facilitate education and skills development partnerships; strengthen Russian partnership on the African Agenda; and last but not least strengthen partnership and cooperation on multilateral issues,” said International Relations.
South Africa considers the Russian Federation as an important strategic partner in the promotion of development, socio-economic and political progress, as well as stability in the globalizing world.
In the multilateral arena, both countries support the promotion of equal distribution of power and influence in the global political and economic systems with a shared belief in rules-based multilateralism; the primacy of the UN in global security matters; sustainable development; free and fair trade; and an equitable international economic order.
South Africa and Russia which emerged from a decade of post-Soviet economic and political turmoil to reassert itself as a world power, already share smooth bilateral cooperation.
The two countries jointly launched the South African satellite, Sumbandilasat, at the Russian space facility in Kazakhstan last year. This is in addition to a number of cooperation various fields, including technology, energy, trade and investment, among others.
The Russian Federation boasts a population of 140 million and is the 12th largest economy in the world by nominal value and the 7th largest by purchasing power parity (PPP).
The country has highly skilled people in science and technology, as well as an abundance of natural resources including oil, gas, coal, and other precious metals, and is equally rich in agriculture.
By virtue of its membership of the UN Security Council’s Permanent 5 of the G8 and a member of the G20 – it holds a great deal of political power in the multilateral forum.
“There is therefore no denying the fact that Russia’s role in influencing and shaping positions in international affairs, the international political economy and energy politics is increasingly being recognized,” added the International Relations and Cooperation department. – BuaNews