/ Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat (second from right) at the signing ceremony of the Memorandum between the Russian Federation and the African Union on the foundations of relations and cooperation during the Russia-Africa Summit in 2019. / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has recently pointed out the difference between the approaches by Russia and the West towards African nations, highlighting that Moscow doesn’t impose its interests on its partners and has no hidden agenda. He also criticized Washington for trying to disrupt the second Russia-Africa summit.Western countries fail to understand that they no longer have colonial-era clout, as sovereign African nations have the right to choose their political partners based on their national interests and aspirations, says Aymeric Chauprade, a geopolitical scientist and French politician in an interview with Sputnik. “It is a huge mistake not to understand that all African countries, whether French-speaking or English-speaking […] want to diversify their relations. They no longer want to remain under the control of colonial powers,” he highlights. Talking about France’s approach towards Africa, the expert explains that Paris’ African policy couldn’t predict this huge wave of rejection and anti-French sentiment recently seen in many countries across the continent. He wonders why Western diplomats, including French politicians, can’t take into account that in the multipolar world you “should accept that a sovereign African country has the right to trade and discuss with many countries.” Unable to grasp this change in global politics, he stresses, they practice neo-colonial policies aimed at forcing African countries to choose sides. AfricaLavrov: Russia Doesn’t Preach to African Partners, Builds Cooperation on Mutual Respect3 April, 23:50 GMTSpeaking about the pressure African nations are going through, Dr. Michael Ndonye, a political commentator and senior lecturer at Kabarak University, states that the success of the West’s attempts to disrupt cooperation between Russia and the continent, mainly depends “on the way African countries view the two sides of the binary opposition.” He highlights that it would be difficult to convince them not to send their representatives to the second Russia-Africa Summit set to take place in St. Petersburg in July this year, as many African states have deep historical relations with Russia, which they highly appreciate. He asserts that the US would feel “uncomfortable to see its allies attend” the summit organized by a power that is against them. Furthermore, he underlined that Washington sees any attempt by Moscow to enhance cooperation with Africa as a security issue that can destabilize its partnership with the continent. Therefore, the US will apply any methods which could hinder African countries from maintaining close relations with Russia.
"They [the US] will firstly front any Russian intrusion as a security issue. A plethora of sanctions and withdrawal of any support, whether military, economic or political, will come in handy for the West in containing and taming Africa," he says.
AfricaUS Exerts Pressure to Disrupt Russia-Africa Summit, Moscow Says26 February, 14:44 GMTChauprade further elaborates that the West’s long-standing pursuit of its policy of isolation “is not working” nowadays, as it is no longer accepted by a large part of the world, which has begun to oppose and reject it. The politician recalls that this policy worked on smaller countries that were eventually destroyed, but “it’s obviously not going to work on Russia because it’s a very big and influential country.” He explains that Russia has a long political tradition, and unlike the US, over the long course of history, it has been able “to both decline and be reborn.”
"Many countries across the world cooperate with Russia, trade with Russia, make agreements that imply non-dollar settlements. So there are multiple examples that show that Russia is not isolated and that the policy of isolation practiced by the Western world has reached its limits," Chauprade emphasizes.
The policy of imposing embargoes and sanctions, he reiterates, as well as the idea that a country that doesn’t toe Washington’s line “will be punished,” are no longer relevant as the world is now witnessing an emergence of a multipolar order.