Russia and Africa | le360.ma

Russia and Africa | le360.ma
Russia and Africa | le360.ma

Since 2009, and after two decades of absence, from Libya to the Central African Republic, from Burkina Faso to Mozambique, from Niger to Sudan and Mali, Russia has made its grand return to Africa, where everything seems to be going well for it. It is indeed accumulating, day after day, a capital of sympathy without promising development, without seeking to impose democratization, by simply affirming its non-interference in internal affairs and its recognition of the sovereignty of African states.

Although Moscow’s relations with the entire African continent have intensified since 2018-2019, the basis of Russian successes in Africa is mainly based on military cooperation, with Moscow having concluded military-technical cooperation agreements with 40 African states. In 2018, through the company RosoboronexportRussia has become Africa’s largest arms supplier and military agreements have been signed with three-quarters of African countries.

Russia has thus signed agreements of the highest importance with Mozambique, since they provide for the free entry of Russian military ships into the country’s ports. Moscow now has a relay base in the Indian Ocean, which will allow its fleet to exercise a direct presence on the main oil supply routes to Europe. Furthermore, an agreement providing for the transfer of a port on the Red Sea by Sudan is currently being finalized.

Russia has established or reestablished diplomatic relations with all African countries, and several Russia-Africa summits have been held in 2019, 2022 and 2023, the last one bringing together 49 African countries and 17 heads of state in St. Petersburg. Each time, Vladimir Putin reaffirmed three ideas that make the difference with the Western approach:

1- Russia is not coming to Africa to plunder the continent, since it is full of mineral wealth on its immense territory.

2- It has no colonial past; on the contrary, yesterday, the USSR helped the liberation struggles.

3- She does not come to give moral lessons to Africans; nor does she come to impose political or economic dictates on them or even the societal “singularities” carried by LGBT ideology or “gender theory”.

In doing so, Vladimir Putin has therefore taken the opposite approach to the policy imposed by François Mitterrand in 1990 in La Baule, a policy which provoked an endless crisis on the continent by permanently establishing democratic disorder there.

For Russia, no development is possible without stability, the latter therefore requires support for strong regimes, therefore for armies… and not through “good governance”, a Western concept often appearing quite “exotic” south of the Sahara. Hence the sending of the Wagner militia, renamed Africa Corpsin countries experiencing a serious security crisis and where the central government no longer controls huge swathes of the national territory. This is what happened in the Central African Republic and Mali and which began in Niger and could follow in Burkina Faso.

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