The attitude of France and other EU countries towards Africa is “pure neo-colonialism”, says the head of Russian diplomacy
France, as well as other European countries, have consistently demonstrated a “colonial state of mind” when it comes to African nations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. The head of diplomacy made these remarks on Friday during a joint press conference with his Malian counterpart, Abdoulaye Diop, after talks in Moscow.
Namely, Paris has repeatedly expressed concerns about growing security cooperation between Bamako and Moscow, Lavrov said. During the talks, the Russian side reiterated its willingness to continue providing “complex treatmentin Bamako, including the training of the Malian armed and security forces.
“Their dissatisfaction with the decision of the Malian authorities to seek the help of foreign powers to provide protection and security is nothing other than the resurgence of a colonial state of mind, which the Europeans should have since shed. long time”, said Lavrov.
Other European countries have also taken a similar approach towards Africa, he said, recalling a meeting with his French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly last September.
“Both expressed to me, in a rather tense way, their concerns about Russia developing ties with Africa and, more specifically, with Mali. They justified this position in a rather colonial way: Africa is an area of EU responsibility, influence and interests,” said Lavrov.
I cannot accept such arguments, it is pure neo-colonialism, the inability to shed the old habits that plunged Africa into a very bad state at the time.
Mali is currently ruled by interim President Assimi Goita, an army colonel who led the 2020 military coup against then-President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita – as well as the May coup 2021 against his successor, Bah N’Daw.
Following the latest coup, relations between Mali and its former metropolis, France, have gradually deteriorated. Paris, along with other Western powers, has accused Goita’s government of hiring Russian private military contractors to fight the Islamist insurgency in the north of the country.
The country gradually suspended cooperation with France, eventually pulling out of defense agreements with Paris earlier this month. Bamako city “gross violations” sovereignty of the nation allegedly committed by the French forces deployed there.
This week, Mali also withdrew the G5 Sahel Force, a multinational force created in 2017 to fight the Islamist insurgency in the region. On the same day, Bamako revealed that it had suppressed a new coup attempt, allegedly undertaken by a “small group of anti-progressive Malian officers and NCOs” supported by an unspecified “Western State”.
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