Valentina Matvienko gave a speech at a session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko met with Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia Patrick Matibini.

Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko gave a speech at a session of the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia.

She recalled that Russia and Zambia were united by a long-term history of cooperation. “This country was the first to recognise Zambia’s sovereignty just six days after it gained independence.”

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Ms Matvienko expressed confidence that the official visit of a delegation from the upper chamber of the Russian Parliament would promote further inter-parliamentary dialogue and give a fresh impetus to the development of bilateral relations.

“Relations between the Russian Federation and the African countries have entered a new phase. Russia is striving to enhance a diversified partnership with the African countries. We promote steady and harmonious development, and we are establishing enduring political, economic and humanitarian ties with these countries,” Valentina Matvienko said.

She mentioned the recent landmark Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. In her opinion, the summit demonstrated the enormous potential for the development of Russia-Africa cooperation in most diverse areas – culture, tourism, science and high technology.

“We attach great importance to the development of bilateral ties between Russia and Zambia. We are promoting this economic cooperation in various areas – from agriculture to nuclear power engineering,” Ms Matvienko noted.

 “The organising of constructive cooperation between Zambian provinces and Russian regions can become an important reserve for bilateral cooperation. As a chamber representing the interests of the regions, the Federation Council is prepared to support this in every possible way,” the Speaker emphasised.

 “We attach special significance to the development of cultural and humanitarian ties and the deepening of our partnership in education and personnel training,” she said, adding that Zambia is a leader among the African countries in the number of Russian state education grants.

With regard to inter-parliamentary cooperation, Ms Matvienko noted the growing role of parliamentary diplomacy in today’s world, adding that this has become an effective tool in equitable and constructive international dialogue.

“Our multisided parliamentary institutions are developing productive cooperation. Our multi-format parliamentary dialogue is creating a firm foundation for cooperation in the broadest range of areas,” Ms Matvienko said.

 In her opinion, the Third Eurasian Women’s Forum, scheduled for St Petersburg in 2021, and an International Conference on Inter-Ethnic and Inter-Religious Dialogue to be held in Russia in 2022, will become major international events. The Speaker invited her Zambian colleagues to take part in these events as well as in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum this year.

 Ms Matvienko also spoke about the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory. “Hundreds of thousands of Africans were sent to the European front and made a contribution to the outcome of World War II,” she said. “Regrettably, conflicts remain unsettled in many parts of Africa. In this context, we believe the UN should play a more active role in peacemaking missions to settle these conflicts, Valentina Matvienko said.

She also told the Zambian MPs about the Federation Council initiative to recognise the Victory over Nazism in World War II as the World Heritage of humankind, and monuments to the fighters against Nazism in all countries as the World Memorial of humankind.

The Speaker invited Zambian MPs to support and promote this initiative.

After the session Ms Matvienko and other members of the Federation Council delegation met with Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of Zambia Patrick Matibini. They exchanged views on a range of bilateral parliamentary ties.

In particular, they discussed the joint efforts of inter-parliamentary groups on cooperation, exchange in lawmaking experience and new formats for cooperation.

“During the visit we became convinced that, just like Russia, Zambia is interested in expanding cooperation,” Valentina Matvienko stressed.

The Federation Council (FC) delegation included Chair of the FC Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, Chair of the FC Committee on Defence and Security Viktor Bondarev, First Deputy Chair of the FC Committee on Agriculture and Food Policy and Environmental Management Sergei Mitin, First Deputy Chair of the FC Committee on the Budget and Financial Markets Yelena Perminova, Deputy Chair of the FC Committee on Science, Education and Culture and member of the group on the FC’s cooperation with parliaments of Asian and African countries Igor Morozov and Deputy Chair of the FC Committee on Economic Policy Alexei Russkikh