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Russia and West ‘fundamentally different’ in approaches to Africa – Moscow

Russia does not create divisions in its relations with the continent, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said

The fundamental difference between Russia and the West in their approaches to relations with African countries is that Moscow does not draw “dividing lines” on the continent, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.  

Moscow continues to work actively with African nations in a wide range of areas, Zakharova told a press briefing on Wednesday, citing agreements in economic, trade and investment cooperation such as the one reached with Mali during the Russia-Africa summit last July.

The new Alliance of Sahel States, formed by Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso in September, is also pursuing a course of rapprochement with Russia, according to the spokeswoman.   

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Responding to a question about the establishment of a “pro-Russian” belt of states across Africa, Zakharova underlined the importance of using terminology that the countries themselves have approved.  

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“If they want to name themselves differently or associate with something, it’s their legal right. Then we will certainly support them in this. There are no dividing lines. This is our fundamental difference from the West,” the diplomat stressed. 

Zakharova suggested that Mocow’s approach could be why Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger are seeking to strengthen relations with Russia. Countries on the continent may also see an opportunity to end the vestiges of colonialism, the diplomat added.  

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Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali – all of which are under military rule – established the Alliance of Sahel States in September to provide a collective defense architecture. Last month, all three countries announced their immediate withdrawal from the West African regional bloc ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), claiming it is a tool used by Western powers to influence the continent.

February 08, 2024 at 04:44PM
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