Uganda’s foreign affairs minister, Henry Okello Oryem said Russians are historical friends since the 1970s and 1980s to Uganda, stressing that the summit is an attempt to revive the Soviet-era relationship that was much stronger before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Russia African Summit is significant towards strengthening ties and development with the African continent, a Russian senior official has said.
The four-day summit (October 22-25) which kicks off today alongside another Economic Forum; is hosted at the famous Russian Resort City and Economic, Business and Sports Centre-Sochi.
The State Spokesperson of the Present Russian Federation, Dmitry Peskov told the New Vision, the summit is meant to strengthen unity, development and a beginning of a new era between Russia and the African States.
He said the event is important in developing cooperation and learning between countries.
A delegation of Uganda led by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is expected to attend the summit. This is the first-ever African-Russia summit.
Over 35 heads of state and other high profile delegates are expected to attend the summit.
Peskov said they have broken the Western media stereotypes, which were portraying Russia negatively.
"They were showing Russia as a country facing intergovernmental, religious and ethnic conflicts; political and economic instability; and an array of demographic and social problems; which is not," he noted.
He said Russians have already proven to their partners "that they are sincere, reliable and honest in all spheres of cooperation".
Peskov noted that Uganda maintains a long history of cooperation with Russia over the years in different fields including; defence and education among others.
He cited the recent success of the Uganda Tank Crew in the Tank Biathlon team during the International Army Games 2019; which he attributed to good training offered by Russian instructors to the crew.
Since the 1960s, Russia has also offered over 4,000 scholarships to Ugandans.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, highlighted the importance of developing cooperation between countries and the positive experience that has been attained from developing joint projects.
"Russian African relations have intensified significantly in recent years both at the bilateral level and various multilateral formats. We have not only managed to preserve the experience gained from fruitful cooperation in the past but have also achieved new major successes," Putin noted in a message released by Peskov.
He said positive trends have been seen on trade turnover numbers and in investment flows and joint projects are being developed in an extractive industry, agriculture, healthcare, and education.
Putin stressed that Russian companies are ready to share their scientific and technological developments; and experience in modernisng energy, transport, communication, and infrastructure.
He said the forum will become a new platform for discussion and adoption of constructive decisions to enhance collaboration.
"I hope that new areas and forms of cooperation will be outlined during the forum; and promising joint initiatives will be put forward that will help take Russian-African collaboration to the whole new level and develop our economies and the prosperity of our people," Putin added.
Uganda's foreign affairs minister, Henry Okello Oryem said Russians are historical friends since the 1970s and 1980s to Uganda, stressing that the summit is an attempt to revive the Soviet-era relationship that was much stronger before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
A senior official from the ministry said the forum is an important step towards creating favourable conditions for the development of trade and economic relations between Uganda and Russia.
The official revealed that a significant set of trade, economic and investment agreements are expected to be signed at the conclusion of the forum.
"We are also to looking at the continued development of military-technical cooperation with our Russian partners," the official added.
Uganda also expects to find its market in the sphere of agricultural cooperation and commercial exchange, strengthen cooperation in the energy sector, and mining operation and find big partners among others.
This is also an opportunity for Uganda to show her investment potential to the Russian market.
The Russian minister of foreign affairs, Sergie Lavrov said the mutual determination of the two countries to work consistently and purposefully on the active development of multifaceted cooperation will achieve bilateral benefits.
"Russia remains a reliable partner of Uganda in International politics and shares our views in many spheres. We hope for further development of the international relations," he noted.