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HomeLatest NewsVictor Bout: Banana jumbo, Africa!

Victor Bout: Banana jumbo, Africa!

Date: May 26, 2024 Time: 06:39:05

Victor fight

Photo: Julia PYKHALOVA

I met Africans that I met in the 90s

… – Hello, Viktor Anatolyevich! Hello from very rainy Moscow.

– You call the same rainy St. Petersburg. It rained all night.

They all had to go to the forum in a good summer drizzle.

– How did our African friends survive there? Some were even bare shoulders, they have such national clothes.

– Today somehow survived. The day was quite intense, there were many different sessions, there were people everywhere.

– You are not just any guest of this summit. In his past life or previous life, he worked very closely with Africa. And, I know, I love Africa. What was it like for you to plunge back into this slightly familiar environment? And maybe even see familiar faces?

– Yes, Alexander, I had a chance to meet with those whom I had known for a long time, since the 90s.

And in general, of course, it is very happy to see that Russia has finally taken up, seriously and systematically, relations with Africa.

And – not only and not only business relations are being built …

– What do you mean exactly?

– Cooperation in the field of education is expanding. Now more students will study in Russian universities: the quota is increasing.

I attended a plenary session at which Vladimir Vladimirovich spoke.

– And what is your impression?

– What you said, I think, determines not only the vector, but also gives impetus to the development of our relations with Africa for at least the next few years.

– What, first of all, thesis do you have in mind? You as an “African”, excuse me for such a definition, what attracted you in the first place?

– I think that the most important message for Africans is the creation of an equitable approach, I want to emphasize, equitable and balanced, in all areas and areas of cooperation.

This was central to the policy of the Soviet Union. And now Russia is the same fulcrum. And, the main strategic ally of all African countries, precisely in the defense of common interests in the creation of a multipolar world and the preservation of traditional and conservative points of view.

I think this is a solid foundation for the future. And on this basis, it will be much easier to increase the volume of both trade and technical cooperation.

Africans are very interested in the energy industry. And the developments that Russia has, and they are very, very competitive.

Today, there was something amazing around the stand of our Rosatom. There is great interest in the projects that Rosatom offers. There were many meetings in other stands of our corporations.

So, do we sell or buy?

– You somehow blurted out in our conversations that when you had to spend almost 15 years in an American prison, you learned many languages. In this stock of yours, how many languages ​​of the African family?

– It’s like in that joke: depending on what for – so, do we sell or buy?

Unfortunately, as such, I did not study African languages. And the ones used in Africa, I knew even before my adventures in the United States.

It is mainly Portuguese, English and French. In principle, and now these are the three main languages ​​spoken by Africa.

– What did you and our African friends talk about in Portuguese, French and English? I refer to the thesis, which has been expressed more than once in these weeks and days, that we are against hegemony.

– If we translate this into a practical plane, Africans are very aware and understand what is happening in geopolitics.

And now they are trying to build really deep relationships with us, first of all, economic.

But here a systematic approach is needed, already on the part of our state to create this infrastructure.

– It has its own peculiarities, its own specificity…

– It is necessary, first of all, to create a financial system independent of the West. This is so that we can reach mutual agreements with African countries. And secondly, apparently, we need to invest, invest in building centers, opening up our economic zones. Like here in Egypt, the industrial zone of Suez-Russia.

Because even in a special session on logistics, in which I participated, representatives of our shipping companies said that we do not have those ports. Because western companies operate in many African ports. And therefore there are problems servicing our ships there.

And here there is not only understanding, but also the desire of the African side that we enter, invest in Africa, work systematically. Right now, selling something to African countries is probably as difficult as buying something there.

That is, they need some kind of localization so that local businesses get involved, so that local resources are used.

Africa and I have changed

– Do you think that Africa has changed a lot?

– And Africa has changed, and we have changed.

Look, over the next 30-40 years, the population of Africa will probably double to around 3 billion.

Very quickly, faster than in other regions of the world, the middle class is growing in Africa.

That is, it will be a huge market not only for industrial equipment, but also for simply various consumer goods that are produced in our country.

I’m not even talking about food, the food market, where our country has good prospects of actually becoming the world leader in supplies.

Not only cereals, but also meat, meat and dairy products, confectionery will also be in great demand.

And also, for example, what is made of grain. This is flour and pasta, vegetable oil. And today there were a large number of delegations around the stands of our producers, who offered both meat products and everything else.

This is very nice.

– Vegetable oil is produced, after all, not from wheat, but from sunflowers.

– From a sunflower, of course. Sunflower is not supplied, but already – prepared oil. This is a good redistribution, a good result.

– We saw how the Africans applauded Vladimir Putin when he spoke about the free supply of grain, and we will deliver it for free. And in which cases did Viktor Bout applaud the head of state?

– You know, there were several such cases.

But the main thing is that such a cornerstone, probably, the specific positions of Russia in relations with Africa have been expressed.

Apparently, our corporations, which have the opportunity to enter Africa and start working systematically, will correctly perceive this message. And not only RUSAL, Renova and others.

Africa is now the continent where we are expected, where we will be received very warmly and cordially. And it is necessary to put correctly, systematically this work.

– With whom of ours did Viktor Bout communicate, perhaps from the department heads?

– Victor Bout, let’s say, a public figure, a businessman who is trying to get back into business. It would be wrong if I came across such figures…

Therefore, to talk about some special meetings… I tried to look, understand. It was very interesting for me not only which African delegations came, but also to see, to feel with my own hands what our companies are doing, and they are doing it very, very well.

– You started talking about going back to business. What place will Africa occupy here?

– I think one of the centrals.

– And if specifically?

– You know, let’s not do it now. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch. We must first achieve some results before we start talking about them.

– Will we count chicks this fall or next?

– Well, probably the next one.

– I understand that you felt there, like among your family, if you met many familiar faces (I mean, African). Are you going to Africa directly in the near future?

– Again, everything will depend on the specific circumstances. I have already received my passport. Of course, there will be a need, I’m ready.

– Visas from which African states can appear on Viktor Bout’s passport?

– Well, let’s leave it out of the brackets of our interview with you, given the certain scrupulousness of my position. Well, let’s see, Alexander…

* * *

– You answered about 80 percent of my questions. Or is the percentage higher?

– Even more. Alexander, we probably have the most trustworthy relationship.

– Yes, thank you very much. Can you say the words in any African language that you used to greet your friends?

– Well, probably in Swahili, – “bana jumbo” – one of these greetings … Long awaited!

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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