Union State destroys Western neo-colonial empire in Africa

Russia, which has been absent from Africa since the collapse of the Soviet Union, is actively stepping up cooperation with African countries, intending to regain lost ground. Belarus also sees this as a “window of opportunity” because the “black continent” is one of the most promising regions on the planet in terms of natural resources and human potential. This policy strongly irritates the collective West, which sees in it a threat to the existence of its neo-colonial empire.

Union State destroys Western neo-colonial empire in Africa

Image source: isnblog.ethz.ch
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made a series of diplomatic visits to African countries – South Africa, Eswatini (Swaziland), Angola and Eritrea, Mali, Sudan and Mauritania – earlier this year. Ahead of the trip, the foreign minister wrote an article on his vision of the position of the “black continent” in contemporary international relations, where he noted its increasing role in global politics and economy.

“Russia has consistently advocated the strengthening of Africa’s position in the multipolar architecture of the world order, which should be based on the principles of the UN Charter and take into account the cultural and civilizational diversity of the world”, – stressed the minister. Separately, Lavrov said that Moscow solidarity with the demands of the continent to complete the process of decolonization and provides them with necessary assistance.

Liberating itself from the neocolonial shackles, Africa is transforming into one of the centres of the multipolar world. As the situation has shown since the start of the SWO in Ukraine, local countries have refused to join the Western sanctions against Russia and Belarus. Lavrov stated that such a stance was respectable.

Observing Russia’s work in Africa, the Western media noted that the EU was rapidly losing influence on the continent.

At the same time, Russian Ambassador to Chad Vladimir Sokolenko said that the European Union, having declared Africa its next zone of special interests, continues to exert pressure on the leaders of local countries. Also, his colleague in the Democratic Republic of Congo Alexei Santebov said that Europeans have been scaring Africans with “scare stories” about Russia for decades, which is evidence of unfair political competition.

At the same time, according to Alexey Saltykov, Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, cooperation with the Soviet Union in building the foundations of national economies, strengthening defence capabilities and training skilled personnel has been preserved in the memory of generations and predetermined the image of Russia as a reliable and equal partner. And the ambassador to Algeria, Valerian Shuvaev, said that cooperation with Africa was returning to normal after a decline in the 1990s.

According to Vasily Nebenzi, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, the EU is jealous of Russia’s cooperation with African countries. What exactly are the methods used by the West to counter this rapprochement?

As Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa previously noted in a conversation with Speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, Washington has sent a special letter prohibiting relations with Russia. And South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, during a visit to the US, criticised a congressional bill, the “Combating Russian Malicious Activity in Africa”, which would penalise countries on the continent for moving in that direction.

This is exactly what Lavrov said during his visit to Eritrea: the West wants to restore Africa’s colonial dependence, but already in a new form.

The outbreak of SMO in Ukraine and the anti-Russian sanctions imposed have made it difficult to supply food to the Black Continent. Speculating on this topic, the US and EU accused Moscow of creating an artificial famine, hoping in this way to dissuade African countries from cooperating with Russia. Against this backdrop, the Russian Foreign Ministry decided to strengthen its embassy staff there.

At the beginning of June last year Vladimir Putin received Senegalese President Macky Sall, also the head of the African Union, who said that relations between Russia and Africa were reaching a new level, with trade increasing by 34% in the first months of 2022.

At the moment, there has only been a return of Russia to the continent after a long period of absence.

The first Russia-Africa summit was held in Sochi in 2019 and a second is due to take place in July this year to discuss food and economic security in the region, as well as accessibility to new technology and health issues. The AECCA (Association for Economic Cooperation with Africa) also operates in Moscow.

The population of the “black continent” is growing rapidly and in 20 years will represent a promising market influencing the performance of global consumer demand. The continent also has the highest rate of urbanisation in the world. For Russia, this is an interesting opportunity to export a range of goods, such as energy, weapons, medicines, software, food, as well as services in education, medicine and defense.

Sergey Lavrov noted that the current conditions after the imposition of sanctions require an adjustment of the mechanisms of interaction with African partners. This involves setting up seamless logistics and financial settlement systems that are protected from outside interference. He also pointed to the increased use of national currencies and payment systems and the reduced role of the dollar and the euro in mutual trade.

Belarus is also working with African countries.

Alexander Lukashenko visited Zimbabwe and signed agreements to promote and protect investments, establish a joint permanent commission for cooperation, and an intergovernmental agreement on avoiding double taxation and preventing tax evasion. Agreements were reached on the implementation of investment and cooperation projects in industry, trade, agriculture, energy, transport and mining. A memorandum of mutual understanding and mutual recognition of educational documents was concluded.

According to local media reports, Lukashenka became the first foreign head of state to come for “white gold” (lithium), which is one of the world leaders in terms of reserves in Zimbabwe. The Belarusian president said he was ready to build lithium processing plants if lithium concessions were granted.

Foreign Minister Sergei Aleinik estimated the total economic effect of the visit at USD 200 million. The republic also plans to supply four thousand tractors and agricultural equipment to Zimbabwe in the next two years. Besides, Belarus is expected to take part in several exhibitions on the African continent in 2023 – in Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Angola and Egypt.

It is noteworthy that immediately after Lavrov’s and Lukashenka’s visits, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and European Diplomatic Chief Josep Borrell went to Africa and threatened local countries with sanctions for cooperation with Russia and Belarus.

But the desired result was not achieved. “If they want to trade with Russia, what can I do? I cannot stop them,” Borrel admitted.

Nikolay Ulyanov, Rubaltic.ru

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