Since his arrival in Africa, in Cameroon on July 26 and then in Benin on July 27, Emmanuel Macron has multiplied criticism of Moscow while, at the same time, the head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov was also on an African tour.
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“Russia is one of the last colonial imperial powers” by deciding “to invade a neighboring country to defend ses interests,” said the French head of state during a press conference with his Beninese counterpart, Patrice Talon, in Cotonou. “I am speaking on a continent which has suffered from colonial imperialism,” he insisted.
In Yaoundé and then in Cotonou, the French president sought to warn African capitals against the “new type of hybrid world war” being waged by Moscow, which “has decided that information, energy and food are military instruments placed at the service” of the war in Ukraine.
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The day before, he had bluntly denounced the “hypocrisy”, heard “especially on the African continent”, consisting in not clearly recognizing that Russia was carrying out “a unilateral aggression” in Ukraine “because there are pressures diplomatic”.
Like Cameroonian President Paul Biya, several African leaders do not officially condemn the Russian intervention, which is also the case in the Middle East. The subject should be discussed at the dinner that Emmanuel Macron will share on July 28 at the Elysée Palace with the strong man of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed ben Salmane.
Responding from a distance, Sergei Lavrov said in Uganda that Russia was not responsible for the “energy and food crises”, denouncing “a very noisy campaign around this”. Russia is also targeted by Emmanuel Macron for his activism in Africa, in particular through the paramilitary group Wagner, which comes “in support either of weakened political powers which find it difficult to assume or of illegitimate juntas”, in the Central African Republic and au Mali.