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Congo keen on joining BRICS – president

The leader of the African country, Denis Sassou Nguesso, has met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow

The president of the Republic of the Congo, Denis Sassou Nguesso, has expressed his country’s interest in becoming a member of BRICS. The African leader arrived in Russia this week, where he met with President Vladimir Putin.  

In an interview with Russian media on Thursday, Sassou Nguesso stressed that the African country is interested in developing ties with the bloc.   

“I’ve also heard about the BRICS+ format. So, if all these opportunities are available, why not? Congo would be interested,” Sassou Nguesso said.  

BRICS was founded in 2006 by Brazil, Russia, India, and China, with South Africa joining in 2011. Russia currently holds the BRICS chairmanship. The group expanded this year when Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates became full members. 

Sassou Nguesso arrived in Russia on Tuesday and held a meeting with President Putin on Thursday, at which the African leader was awarded the Russian Order of Honor.

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Denis Sassou Nguesso received the award “for his significant contribution to the development and strengthening of relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Congo,” a statement read.  

During the meeting, Putin highlighted that Sassou Nguesso has made a significant personal contribution to the development of Russian-Congolese relations. “[Sassou Nguesso] participated in two Russia-Africa summits and we are making the necessary efforts to advance our cooperation in all areas,” Putin said.   

This year, Russia and the Republic of the Congo are celebrating the 60th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.

According to the Congolese honorary consul in St. Petersburg, Jocelyn-Patrick Mandzela, Sassou Nguesso will also visit the northern Russian city, where he has a comprehensive agenda that includes a meeting with the local governor.

READ MORE: Another African state to apply for BRICS membership

In early June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made an official visit to Congo, where he engaged in discussions with the country’s leadership. The talks centered on enhancing trade and economic relations, advancing energy sector projects, and strengthening military-technical cooperation. 

June 28, 2024 at 03:08PM

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