Africa has its sovereign right to choose partners
✍️ Oleg Ozerov, Ambassador-at-large, Head of the Secretariat of the Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia
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As was announced several days ago, on 13th September, the second Russia-Africa Partnership Forum, with me having the privilege to be the Head of its Secretariat, was scheduled for the next summer of 2023. An Organizing Committee headed by Yuri Ushakov, aide of the President of the Russian Federation, was established to therefore prepare.
This Summit is designed to give a new impetus to the African-Russian political, trade and economic, investment, scientific and technical as well as humanitarian co-operation and thus, turn it even more integrated and comprehensive in nature.
Though a careful analysis of the information from other international actors within the framework of preparations for the Forum forces us to state openly that there are forces in the world that stand against such a full-fledged and mutually beneficial cooperation of African States with Russia, and what is remarkable, those actors themselves are not Africans.
A statement of Josep Borrell, Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, that has been published on the EU website, as well as a number of his statements made during his recent travels to Mozambique, Kenya and Somali when he snatched an opportunity to accuse Russia of all the world troubles and called on the African partners to construct a closer cooperation with Europe have come into particular notice.
Today, using Russia as an example, 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, this policy of double standards can today be applied to any country that does not fit into the Western value system. African nations have for decades experienced firsthand the consequences of illegal economic restrictions introduced for the purposes of political blackmail, in some cases – to achieve a change of political leadership. The West has consistently introduced sanctions against Burundi, the DRC, Zimbabwe, Libya, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, the CAR, Ethiopia, South Sudan. The list goes on.
The West’s hypocrisy goes as far as denying African partners through its own sanctions access to food and fertilizer supplied by Russian companies.
We stand for the sovereignty and independent development of the African continent, which is one of the regional centres of power in the new world order and, like Russia, has its own political and economic agenda. Furthermore, Russia is ready to become a provider of African sovereignty, and the upcoming Russia-Africa summit will be convincing proof of this.