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Russia’s FM Lavrov visiting Africa

by Olena Goncharova June 4, 2024 4:48 AM  (Updated: ) 2 min read
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum 2024 in Antalya, Turkey, on March 1, 2024. (Mert Gokhan Koc/ dia images via Getty Images)
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Guinea on June 3 as part of his ongoing visits to West Africa. These visits come amid a backdrop of coups and rising discontent with traditional allies such as France and the United States, prompting some countries to shift their alliances towards Moscow.

Lavrov's multiple visits to the African continent in recent years underscore Russia's efforts to garner support or at least neutrality from Africa's 54 countries amid its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

During his visit, Lavrov met with Guinea’s Foreign Minister Morissanda Kouyaté, according to a statement from Russia’s foreign ministry. Guinea's government mentioned that the meeting aimed to discuss areas of mutual cooperation but did not provide further details.

Later on June 3, Lavrov was expected to arrive in the Republic of Congo, where he was scheduled to meet President Denis Sassou Nguesso in the city of Oyo, as per an official communique from Brazzaville. The rest of his itinerary was not disclosed.

Guinea has been under military rule since 2021, when Col. Mamadi Doumbouya seized power, citing the need to prevent chaos and accusing the previous government of failing to keep promises. In February, the military leaders dissolved the government without explanation and announced plans to appoint a new one.

Doumbouya has resisted attempts by Western and other developed countries to intervene in Africa’s political affairs, stating that Africans are "exhausted by the categorizations with which everyone wants to box us in," according to Associated Press.

Several West African nations, including Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso, have experienced coups that resulted in military juntas taking control. These countries have reduced or ended longstanding military ties with Western powers in favor of seeking security support from Russia.

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