On 1st August 2023, at the Moscow Centre of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society (IOPS), a working meeting took place under the chairmanship of Mr Sergei Stepashin. The matter under discussion was humanitarian aid to African countries.
The topic acquired particular relevance during the Russia–Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum held in St. Petersburg several days prior to the meeting.
During the forum, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to ship grain to the neediest African countries as aid on a gratuitous basis.
Among the participants in the meeting was Mr Oleg Ozerov, ambassador-at-large of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, member of the IOPS Board and head of its International Division, who in his speech dwelt on the Russian President’s initiative and highlighted cases of Russia’s involvement in the humanitarian projects of that ilk.
Metropolitan Leonid of Klin, Patriarchal Exarch of Africa, full member of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, focused in his report on how such projects are being implemented in various African countries where through the parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church humanitarian aid is being distributed among the needy.
Various issues of formalizing and carrying out such humanitarian missions in compliance with international law were highlighted by Mr Andrey Belyaninov, Secretary General of the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly.
The participants in the meeting resolved to promote active cooperation between the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Eurasian Peoples’ Assembly in organizing and participating in the humanitarian projects.
Among those who took part in the meeting were also Mr Georgy Verenich, IOPS vice-chairman, and Mr Daniil Burdyga, IOPS executive officer.