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African Nations Unwilling to Be Involved in New Cold War ‘to Choose Between West or China or Russia’

CC BY 2.0 / Justin Raycraft / Kampala, UgandaStreet View of Kampala, Uganda
Street View of Kampala, Uganda - Sputnik International, 1920, 11.08.2022
During his four-nation African tour late last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in particular, thanked local authorities for not supporting the West’s anti-Russian sanctions, blamed the EU and the US for soaring food prices and suggested that Africa buy Russian oil.
Africa’s unwillingness to be drawn into “a new cold war” between Russia and the US remains a major hurdle for Washington, which recently adopted a new strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa, Foreign Policy magazine reported.

This was echoed by the news outlet Stars and Stripes quoting an unnamed source in the US Department of Defense (DoD) as saying that African countries "don't want to be in another Cold War scenario where they have to choose between the West or Russia or China.”

The claims followed White House officials telling reporters on Monday that the new “US Strategy Toward Sub-Saharan Africa" will actively engage regional leaders on issues from climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic recovery to food security, while thinking "more holistically" about military engagement on the continent.
Outlining the strategy, the Biden administration argued that its push for greater openness and democracy in sub-Saharan Africa would help “counter harmful activities by the People's Republic of China, Russia and other actors.”
Flag of the African Union. - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.07.2022
Back to Africa: Russia’s Lavrov Set for Regional Tour of ‘Continent of the Future’
According to the US’ new Sub-Saharan Africa policy paper, Beijing sees the region as an “arena to challenge the rules-based international order, advance its own narrow commercial and geopolitical interests […] and weaken US relations with African peoples and governments.”
The strategy mentions Russia as a country that “views the region as a permissive environment for parastatals and private military companies, often fomenting instability for strategic and financial benefit.”
The 17-page document was rolled out following Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s African tour late last month, during which he visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia. The tour came amid Moscow’s efforts to bolster support from African countries, which largely declined to back the US and its allies’ sanctions against Russia over its ongoing special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine.
During his joint press conference with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Lavrov told a Sputnik correspondent that the new foreign policy guidelines being developed by the Kremlin should include a provision for enhancing ties between Russia and African countries regardless of the actions that Western countries take.

“We have our principle, our long-term relations, which do not depend on the current global situation and so, apparently, our work in the sphere of ties with African countries will expand. But given the current situation and the current activities undertaken by the West, objectively the role of the African continent will grow in our work,” Lavrov said.

During the press conference, the top Russian diplomat also hailed what he described as “an independent path” taken by African countries in refusing to join Western sanctions against Russia and the “undisguised attempts of the US and their European satellites to gain the upper hand and impose a unipolar world order.”
The remarks were preceded by the Foreign Policy magazine claiming that “the nascent” new Cold War is “already going global” amid NATO’s attempts “to confront” Russia’s and China’s alleged drive to expand their global clout.
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