Pretoria: South Africa and Russia have once again agreed to sustain the momentum of their bilateral relationship.
This follows a successful bilateral discussions between President Jacob Zuma and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russian which has served to take forward the strong bilateral cooperation between the two countries. President Zuma is in Russia on a working visit to attend the Jubilee Celebrations on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of the Great Patriotic War (WW II).
President Zuma congratulated President Putin on the moving celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Great Patriotic War which heralded victory against Nazi Germany and the end of World War 2 in 1945. South Africa and Russia have strong cooperation in the political, economic, social, defence and security fields.
The legal instruments and mechanisms that affirm the strategic relationship between the two countries include the Protocol on Political Consultations signed in 1994, the Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed in 1995, Declaration of Principles on Friendly Relations and Partnership signed in 1999, the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) signed in 1999. There are also the Joint Inter-governmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation established in 2002, the Treaty of Friendship and Partnership signed in 2006 and the Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the Republic of South Africa and the Russian Federation signed in March 2013.
The two leaders supported by their delegations held wide ranging talks which have included an assessment of bilateral cooperation, the status and implementation of ITEC Agreements and preparations for the 13th ITEC Session to be hosted by the Russian Federation during the latter part of 2015. They also discussed preparations for the 7th BRICS Summit scheduled to be hosted by Russia from 08 to 09 July 2015.
The leaders agreed on the need to intensify cooperation in various areas further including trade and to explore opportunities further in the areas of mining, energy and agriculture amongst others.
President Zuma congratulated the Russian Federation as the first BRICS partner to deposit its instrument for the ratification of the Agreement on the New Development Bank on 20 April 2015.
South Africa is making good progress through its governance structures to ratify both the Agreement on the New Development Bank and Treaty on the Establishment of a Contingent Reserve Arrangement. In addition, South Africa is also making steady progress towards establishing the New Development Bank Africa Regional Centre concurrently with the establishment of the New Development Bank in Shanghai in China, as was directed at the Fortaleza Summit in Brazil.
President Zuma also extended good wishes to President Putin for the BRICS Summit in July.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS