Newswire : African leaders and Russians sign nuclear deals in a ‘winning week for Putin’

Russian TU 160 bomber delivered to South Africa

Oct. 28 2019 (GIN) – Taking advantage of the Russia-Africa summit and the presence of dozens of African leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin advanced his goal of expanding Moscow’s geopolitical clout.

At the two-day summit in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, the Russian president resurrected old bonds forged by the Soviet Union with the result that arms shipments are now flowing from Moscow to Algeria to Mozambique. Consultants are assisting embattled strongmen with election strategies and development plans for natural resource projects.

As the summit opened, Russia landed two nuclear-capable bombers in South Africa on a training mission. The two Tupolev Tu-160 strategic bombers touched down at Waterkloof air force base in Tshwane, the South African National Defense Force confirmed.

Praising what it said were strong diplomatic links between the countries, the South African body added: “Our relations are not solely built on ‘struggle politics’, but rather on fostering mutually beneficial partnerships based on common interests.”

Rwanda is the latest African country to sign a nuclear deal with the Russian state atomic company Rosatom.

The deals between Russia and several African countries have raised concerns among environmentalists who say nuclear energy is not always clean and does not come free.

“Rosatom is prepared to help our African partners in creating a nuclear industry,” Putin declared, with “the construction of research centers based on multifunctional reactors.”
The nuclear pacts come despite an African Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone Treaty – also called the Pelindaba Treaty – which obligates Parties not to develop, manufacture, acquire, or possess any nuclear explosive device. Parties may engage in peaceful nuclear activities but must conclude safeguards agreements with the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Opened for signature in 1996, it came into force in 2009 with 40 countries signing on.

Other new military deals include Nigeria which will receive 12 Russian-made Mi-35 attack helicopters, according to the RIA Russian news agency.

Rosatom is also in talks with Ethiopia to build a nuclear power station there, Interfax quoted the Russian company as saying.

Putin has called for trade with African countries to double over the next four to five years, adding Moscow had written off over $20 billion in African debts.

Michael Gatari, the head of nuclear science and technology at the University of Nairobi, said African countries can pursue nuclear technology but must get their own people to manage the nuclear reactors.

Russia was seeking business in Africa, not giving away gifts, he observed.

“Africa is not going to get a free reactor… They’re selling their technology… Of course, there is a component of ‘we will train your people, we’ll do this,’ but if you calculate the cost, it’s we who cough. So the African countries should move into it with a business vision.”

Newswire: ‘Treasonous’ and ‘disgraceful’: critics slam Trump’s performance at Summit with Putin

By Igor Bobic, Huffington Post

Trump and Putin
Trump and Putin, at joint news conference at end of summit in Helsinki, Finland

President Donald Trump’s performance during a press conference after a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday left critics of all stripes howling.
Trump refused to blame Putin for Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and told reporters that “both countries” were responsible for the poor state of their relations.
“I think we’ve all been foolish. I think we’re all to blame,” Trump said.
He reiterated that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, slammed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the election as a “disaster” and shared conspiracy theories about why it’s important for the FBI to take the Democratic National Committee’s computer server.
Putin agreed with Trump on many points, and Trump’s comments drew fierce criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
John Brennan, a CIA director under Barack Obama, called Trump’s performance “treasonous”. In a tweet, Brennen said,
“Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you ? “

Moments after the press conference, CNN’s Anderson Cooper said it was “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president at a summit in front of a Russian leader.”
On Fox Business Network, several guests reacted by saying that Putin
outmaneuvered Trump at the Summit. On the channel, the network’s Neil Cavuto termed Trump’s performance “disgusting.”
Ari Fleisher, President George W. Bush’s Press Secretary, who often justifies Trump’s statements indicated in a tweet that he understood how Democrats could feel that Putin and the Russians must have some damning information about him.

Meghan McCain, a co-host of ABC’s “The View” and a daughter of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), tweeted that she was “horrified” by the press conference.
Former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a Republican, said Trump
“failed America today.”“It’s a sad day for America,” Hagel said Monday during an appearance on CNN. “It’s a sad day for the world.”