Russia surprises Westerners with a new agreement – ​​La Nouvelle Tribune

Africa, a strategic crossroads coveted by world powers, is once again the scene of a surprising diplomatic maneuver. This time, it’s Russia that’s attracting attention, striking an unexpected deal with Sao Tome and Principe, an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea. The agreement in question provides for military cooperation including the training of troops as well as the deployment of Russian planes and ships in this region, which is nevertheless marked by the historical influence of Portugal.

Portugal, a former colonial power having exercised its influence over Sao Tome and Principe until its independence in 1975, found itself “worried” at the announcement of this agreement. This concern was expressed through the remarks of the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Paulo Rangel, highlighting the surprise and apprehension felt in the face of this cooperation between the African archipelago and Russia. For Portugal, this Russian approach raises legitimate questions, particularly in an international context where tensions with Russia are palpable, particularly in Europe where the Russian Federation is accused of a war of aggression.

This rapprochement between Sao Tome and Principe and Russia comes in a context where other powers, notably China, are also trying to establish themselves in Africa. For several years, China has sought to establish a naval base on the western coast of the continent, having approached several countries for this purpose. These Chinese maneuvers have raised concerns, particularly from the United States, aware of the strategic issues linked to the military presence in this region, a major transit route for maritime trade and oil supplies to Europe.

Russia, for its part, seems to have succeeded where China encountered obstacles. With this agreement, it provides itself with a point of support in a highly strategic region, while strengthening its presence in Africa, already observed in Libya, the Central African Republic and the Sahel. This Russian expansion strategy raises questions about the long-term geopolitical implications, both for the African countries concerned and for international actors.

It is also interesting to note that this agreement between Russia and Sao Tome and Principe comes while the president of Guinea-Bissau, another former Portuguese colony, was visiting Russia. This convergence of events highlights the growing importance of relations between Russia and African countries, but also raises questions about the real intentions of these partnerships.

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