On Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron gave an interview to France info/RFI/France 24 on the sidelines of the Paris summit, in which he accused Russia of being “a power destabilizing Africa”, while the Kremlin for its part claims to be developing “constructive relations” there.
The French president said that “Russia is a power destabilizing Africa through private militias that come to predate and commit atrocities against civilian populations”, pointing out that “this has been documented by the United Nations in the Central African Republic through the Wagner militia”.
The Kremlin quickly rejected these accusations, assuring that it was actively developing “constructive relations” with African countries.
“Russia is developing friendly, constructive relations based on mutual respect with African countries”, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov declared to the press, stressing that these “are not and cannot be directed against third countries”.
Since the start of the conflict with Ukraine, Russia has sought to strengthen its economic and diplomatic ties with Africa, competing in some countries with France, a former colonial power on the continent.
At the end of July, Russia will be organizing a second Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg (north-west), a way of demonstrating its understanding with its African partners despite the conflict in Ukraine.
Over the weekend, a delegation of African heads of state also visited Russia, advocating an end to the war to Vladimir Putin and putting forward proposals that the Kremlin considers “very difficult to implement”.