Russia Prepares to Open New Embassies in African Countries, Deputy FM Says

Russia Prepares to Open New Embassies in African Countries, Deputy FM Says
Russia Prepares to Open New Embassies in African Countries, Deputy FM Says

Africa-Press – Cape verde. Earlier, a number of African countries were visited by a high-profile Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who, in the course of a busy travel schedule, held a series of talks with leaders and heads of government on Russia-Africa relations.

Russia is preparing to open new embassies in African countries, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has said in an interview with Sputnik.

The diplomat noted that following the results of the Russia-Africa summit held in Sochi in 2019, decisions were made that included “expanding the Russian diplomatic presence on the continent.”

According to him, in matters of “geography” and the size of diplomatic missions, Russia proceeds “both from the presence of national interests, the required amount of work, and, importantly, from the partners’ readiness for open dialogue and interaction.”

Moreover, speaking to Sputnik, Bogdanov expressed the opinion that Western countries perceive the strengthening of Russia’s ties with Africa as a personal insult, as they can hardly abandon the neo-colonial principles that for many years allowed them to pump out the necessary resources from Africa almost for nothing.

According to the deputy foreign minister, the current geopolitical situation and the crisis of the liberal development model “dictate the need to reformat the entire world system of international relations, both political and economic.”

He added that it is clear that it is “difficult to change habits,” therefore, the strengthening of Russia’s partnership with Africa in a number of Western capitals is perceived as a personal insult.

At the same time, Bogdanov claimed that Russia among Africans has a high, well-deserved reputation as a reliable partner and friend ready to help in a difficult situation.

Answering a question on whether anti-Russian provocations could be expected due to the fact that European states are trying to prevent the strengthening of Moscow’s role in the region, Bogdanov noted that “in other times one could say that this is somehow undiplomatic.”

“But the behavior of Western countries on the Ukrainian issue suggests that anything can be expected, and we are ready for any development of the situation,” he concluded.

Earlier, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow was not interested in the opinion of Paris on the development of Russia’s relations with Africa. She stressed that French President Emmanuel Macron’s concern about the expansion of Russia’s contacts in Africa suggests that France treats the continent from the point of view of its colonial past.

The French Foreign Ministry, in response to criticism by Zakharova, accused Russia of pursuing a “neo-colonial policy” in Africa. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, commenting on the accusations of Paris against Moscow on Africa, said that this is a clinical case speaking of an attempt to “to shift the blame onto someone else.”

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