By Novell Zwangendaba – Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, the country’s first leader in
decades with no known links either to the former Soviet Communist party or secret services, will hold negotiations with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma on August 5, 2010, in Sochi.
At Dmitry Medvedev’s invitation, President of South Africa Jacob Zuma will make an official visit to Russia on August 4-6, 2010. .
Mr Medvedev – a lawyer by education, is extremely close to his predecessor Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent.
Considered an economic liberal, Mr Medvedev served Mr Putin as first deputy prime minister, and he was also chairman of Russia’s enormous state-run gas monopoly, Gazprom.
The historical links between South Africa and the Russian Federation are strong. Direct contacts between the former USSR and the ANC were established on a regular basis during 1963. In the era of the USSR, the latter was one of the key supporters of the struggle for liberation in South Africa. With the dissolution of the USSR, South Africa became the first African state to recognise the independence of the Russian Federation. Full diplomatic relations were established between South Africa and the Russian Federation on 28 February 1992.