Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Off To Africa Seeking Non-Western Allies
AFRICA - Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister is setting out on a trip on July 24th to seek non-western allies and gain support regarding its war in Ukraine, which has now been stated by Russia as 'no longer limited to the Donbas region', according to Reuters.
Lavrov is going to Egypt where he will meet with officials and solidify their relationship with Russia all the while Egypt maintains its relations with the United States. The United States, along with other western powers, has also been seeking alliances to isolate Russia with even tougher sanctions since the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
Egypt, unlike other countries, has maintained a close strategic and economic relationship with Russia and has been a staunch beneficiary of Russian goods such as wheat, military hardware, energy, and immigration/travel. Rosatom, a Russian state-owned energy corporation began construction on Egypt's first nuclear power plant. This is the largest project undertaken by Russia in Egypt since the creation of the Swan High Dam on the Nile River 50+ years ago.
After meeting members of the Arab League in Egypt, Lavrov will then travel to Ethiopia and then complete his trip by visiting officials in Uganda. Ethiopia and Uganda, along with the Congo Republic, have an uneasy struggle with the west since fighting has broken out in their countries.
These countries which are on Lavrov's itinerary, have increased tensions with the west. These countries have been divided for a while, as the west supplies certain groups, and Russia supplies the others. The groups supported by the west have petitioned the Egyptian government and the Arab League, ahead of Lavrov's visit, not to become pawns in the struggles between Russia and the west.
While Russia has stated its reasons for the Ukrainian invasion are to liberate the pro-Russian people of the Donbas, The west and Kyiv maintain it is waging an imperial land grab and is placing the global economic and food chain in danger. Russia is claiming it is the sanctions imposed by the west that is causing the global food crisis and Russia is not in any way responsible.
According to Reuters, H.A. Hellyer of the Royal United Service Institute, a UK-based think-tank, has stated this: "...but the Western stance on the war has gained limited traction in the Arab world and Africa, where governments are receptive to non-Western alternatives... ...Egypt identifies that the world is becoming more and not less multi-polar, and it doesn't want to limit itself to a relationship that privileges the West above all else."
Lavrov stated in an interview on Wednesday, that the Soviet Union had always supported independence and decolonization in Africa, during the cold war. We have always helped them solve problems and allowed them to live as they wanted to in their own state, unlike western efforts in Africa.
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