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Photo: Presidencia da Republica
President Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique arrived in Sochi in Russia yesterday to attend the Russia-Africa summit today and tomorrow.
Yesterday, president Nyusi met with his delegation but also with executives from three Russian companies, VTB, Rosoboronexport and Uralkali.
At the end of an early evening meeting with the president, VTB chairman Andrey Kostin spoke to the Mozambican press, denying having given the Mozambican government any ultimatum about outstanding debts whose payment is suspended – information circulated in August in some national and foreign press outlets.
Kostin says the reports are false. “We would never give an ultimatum to our friend, the Government of Mozambique – there is no way, no way. In fact, we had a good discussion. There is no ultimatum on either side, we are available to cooperate and the idea is to work together, not to give ultimatums,” he said.
Kostin said the meeting with President Nyusi was about the future and not about the past. The VTB wants to enter the Mozambican market and finance structural projects in partnership with other Russian companies, and was going to the government for support.
“I asked President Nyusi to help us. The government can give us some suggestions regarding opportunities, particularly in gas industry, the coal industry, agriculture and other areas, which we can invest in with Russian companies. We agreed that we should visit Mozambique before the end of the year to continue discussing these matters with the Government of Mozambique. We also talked about the debt issue, and agreed that we would continue to discuss this matter, trying to find the best solution,” Kostin said.
Yesterday, president Nyusi also met the general director of the Rosoboronexport Company and the CEO of Uralkali, both of which are interested in investing in Mozambique.
At the end of the meeting with Urakali, Nyusi spoke to reporters about his expectations for the summit that starts today in Sochi. “More opportunities! Just now, for example, we had a meeting with a fertilizer company. It is extremely important, because it means that our top priority which is agriculture can be leveraged. And during our stay here we will meet more companies, to try and leverage our economy on the basis of mutual advantage between Mozambique and Russia,” the president said.
President Nyusi is accompanied on his trip by 12 Mozambican entrepreneurs, led by CTA president Agostinho Vuma. They are expected to attend the Russia-Africa Business Forum, which brings together Russian and African business people. Agostinho Vuma says the Mozambicans in the business delegation have been in contact with their Russian counterparts since President Nyusi’s state visit to Russia in August.
By Francisco Mandlate
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