Lavrov: US Bill Countering Russia in Africa Represents 'Colonial Mentality'
The US House of Representatives approved a “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act” in mid-2022, paving the way for the US administration to punish African governments for maintaining ties with Russia. US lawmakers claimed that Moscow’s activities in Africa could “undermine United States objectives and interests.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has called the US Congress bill on the fight against Russian activities in Africa "an American provocation" which harms primarily the Africans themselves and reflects the West's colonial approach to the countries of the continent.
Earlier in the day, South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor, in an interview with Sputnik, said that the bill of the US Congress on combating Russian activities in Africa is contrary to international law
and should be withdrawn.
“I assess this law in the same way as Madam Minister (of Foreign Affairs) of South Africa,” Lavrov said during a press conference on Wednesday. “As for how it can affect our relations with Africa, I think her comments already contain the answer. Probably, not every African country, through the mouth of its representative, can clearly indicate its position.”
The Russian official stressed that he had no doubts that even those who do not comment on this kind of “US provocation” still have a deep conviction that “this law harms Africans first of all.”
The minister argued that the US does not consider African nations its equals, adding that Washington’s behavior reflects a “purely colonial mentality in a new dimension." Lavrov recalled the time when former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled across the African continent to call on “everyone to stop trading with Russia and China, because both Russia and China do it for self-interest.”
“But America, Pompeo said, trades with you solely so that you develop, and you have more democracy. Such, you know, a simple little thing, it is anywhere, and in Africa too, it is perceived as it deserves,” the Russian minister stressed.
In May 2022, the US House of Representatives approved a bill against “malign” Russian activities in Africa that “undermine United States objectives and interests.” The bill suggests the application of a “punishment” by the US against African countries for cooperation with Russia in various fields.
Earlier, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said that at a meeting with US President Joe Biden, he spoke about the injustice of the US punishing African countries for ties with Russia, and expressed his disagreement with the bill, which contains such proposals.
Ramaphosa condemned the bill
as being a “misplaced type of legislation”, which, he said, would harm Africa and “marginalize” the continent.
“We should not be told by anyone who we associate with, and we should never be put in positions where we have to choose who our friends are,” Ramaphosa told the reporters after his meeting with Biden.
Jacob Mudenda, speaker of the National Assembly of Zimbabwe, said earlier that African countries reacted with disgust to the US bill to counter the activities of the Russian Federation in the continent since it is an encroachment on the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states maintaining relations with Russia.
18 January 2023, 08:05 GMT