📄 “Africa has the sovereign right to choose partners”
✍️ Oleg B. Ozerov, Ambassador-at-Large, Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
💬 As announced a few days ago, on September 13, the second summit of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, whose secretariat I have the honor to lead, is scheduled for the summer of next year 2023. In order to prepare it, an Organizing Committee was created, headed by Yu.V. Ushakov, Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation.
When preparing the forum, carefully analyzing information from other international actors, we had to state that there are forces in the world that oppose the development of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between African countries and Russia, and, noteworthy, these are not Africans themselves.
Particular attention was drawn to the address of the EU Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, J. Borrell, published on the EU website, as well as a number of his statements during his recent trips to Mozambique, Kenya and Somalia, in which he did not fail to blame Russia for all world troubles, calling on African partners to build closer cooperation with Europe.
According to a European diplomat, the Russian special military operation is an example of “brutal imperialism of the 19th century, which Africa experienced first hand.” And now, says J. Borrell, Europe, after recognizing its responsibility for what happened at that time in Africa, has the full moral right, hand in hand with the Africans who have been oppressed for decades, to fight against Russia and build an “international order based on rules.”
Today, using the example of Russia, we are witnessing how the West is trying to deprive sovereign states of their independence through the use of a system of collective punishment, violation of basic political and economic rights, and harsh illegitimate unilateral restrictions.
Unfortunately, such a policy of double standards today can be applied to any country that does not fit into the Western system of values. African nations have experienced for decades the consequences of illegal economic restrictions imposed for the purpose of political blackmail and, in some cases, the change of political power. The West consistently imposed sanctions against Burundi, DRC, Zimbabwe, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. And this is only part of the list.
To say the least, the US bill “On counteracting the malicious activities of Russia in Africa”, which provides for the collective punishment of Africans for any cooperation with us, is also puzzling, to say the least. Such a restriction of basic political and economic freedoms indicates unfair competition and a crude imposition of the Western agenda on other countries.
We stand for the sovereignty and independent development of the African continent, one of the regional centers of power in the new world order, which, like Russia, has its own political and economic agenda. Moreover, Russia is ready to become a provider of African sovereignty, and the upcoming Russia-Africa summit will be convincing proof of this.