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When it comes to support for President Vladimir Putin’s international positions, the South African (SA) Government has been among the most consistent and enthusiastic of any in the world. However, Russian policy in South Africa has been damaged by the behaviour of Russian oligarchs and state businesses implicated in the corrupt schemes of former SA president Jacob Zuma; he is now facing multiple indictments for seeking and taking bribes for himself and his family. Putin’s landing in Johannesburg on Thursday ought to have been the signal for a fresh start.
Putin was visiting South Africa (SA) this week for a summit meeting of the BRICS states – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Ahead - Departure - Moscow - Putin - Advisor
Ahead of his departure from Moscow, Putin’s advisor on foreign affairs, Yury Ushakov, told the Tass news agency that Putin would be focusing on the nuclear reactor sale he had been promoting with Zuma. “Russia Eyes Building Nuclear Power Plant in South Africa” was the Tass headline. “Russia is interested in cooperation in the sphere of peaceful use of nuclear energy, including construction of a NPP [nuclear power plant] in South Africa,” Ushakov was quoted as saying, “ continued supplies of uranium product to this country, and joint making of isotope products.”
Left to right: Putin; Adviser to the President Yury Ushakov, Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Ryabkov, and the Director of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Dmitry Shugayev.
Ushakov - Scheme - Sergei - Kirienko - Deputy
Ushakov was referring to a scheme devised by Sergei Kirienko, now the deputy chief of Putin’s staff. When Kirienko headed Rosatom he planned to sell South Africa $50 billion worth of reactors, based on terms of an agreement beating rival reactor bids from the US, South Korea, France and China. Follow that and the Zuma...
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