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Russian FM Sergei Lavrov begins Africa tour

Sergei Lavrov arrives in Guinea for the start of an African tour. 03/06/2024   -  
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Guinea on Monday on the first leg of a three-country African tour aimed at boosting support for Moscow.

Russia's foreign ministry announced the visit on the Telegram social media app.

Lavrov is expected to continue his tour in Chad and Burkina Faso, according to reports by Russian state media.

Russian isolation

The trip comes as Moscow looks to bolster support from countries on the continent, amidst Russian isolation on the world stage.

After its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, Russia saw its relations with the West plummet.

While the African Union and several African capitals opposed Russia's stance, more than half of African countries, including Guinea, abstained from UN resolutions calling for a withdrawal of Russian troops.

Boosting African ties

In July last year, Russian president Vladimir Putin hosted several African heads of government at the second Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg.

During the summit, Russia made promises focused on delivering grain to a number of African countries, while also declaration an intention to strengthen economic and security cooperation between Moscow and the continent.

Russia's main economic interests in Africa have centred on its grains, arms, extractives, and nuclear power exports.

More than 70 per cent of all Russian trade with Africa in 2021 was carried out in just four countries—Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and South Africa.

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