Zuma arrives in Russia

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma arrived in Russia on Sunday and will undertake a working visit, the department of International Relations and Co-operation said.

Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said Zuma would visit Russia for a week from 24 to 29 August.

He said Zuma was scheduled to meet President Vladimir Putin.

"The visit will further strengthen the excellent bilateral relations with a view to consolidating and opening new avenues towards job creation, skills development, exchange and transfer of technology and trade and investment," said Monyela.

During the bilateral talks the two presidents were expected to assess the state of bilateral co-operation, the status and implementation of Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Co-operation (ITEC) Agreements, key trade and investment issues.

Monyela said they would also discuss the preparations for the 12th ITEC session to be hosted by South Africa this year.

The two presidents would also focus on developments on critical international issues of mutual concern, including, but not limited to the situation in Syria, and the Israel-Palestine matter, as well as developments in Ukraine, which is Russia's neighbour.

He said ahead of the bilateral meeting, Zuma would from 25-27 August hold low key meetings and use the period to rest.