West still ‘infected’ by colonialism – Lavrov in Africa

The US and its allies don’t understand equality, Russia’s top diplomat has said

The US and its allies seem unable to get over the colonial view of international relations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Wednesday, while visiting Burkina Faso.

In a joint press conference in Ouagadougou with his Burkinabe counterpart, Karamoko Jean Marie Traore, Lavrov was asked whether Russia intends to “oust” the US from Africa.

“Americans can’t seem to get rid of this syndrome of omnipotence and permissiveness. They consider themselves entitled to present their claims throughout the world,” Lavrov responded.

“They tell the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America and – of course – Europe how to act in economics and politics, how they should work with the US against anyone Washington considers a competitor. They measure all international relations by their own yardstick: who is for the US and who is against the US.”

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This “does not concern” Moscow, which is building relations with friends in Africa based entirely on mutual interests, benefits and complete equality, the Russian diplomat noted.

“The West is still playing zero-sum games. They are unable to comprehend equal interaction,” Lavrov noted. “They are still sick with the ‘bug’ of colonialism and neo-colonialism, which drives their relations with the Global Majority. These relationships are still viewed as an opportunity to live at the expense of others, to extract unilateral advantages.”

Lavrov embarked on a tour of Africa this week, visiting Guinea and the Republic of Congo on Monday before moving on to Burkina Faso and Chad.

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Russian defense delegation holds talks with African allies

Several former French colonies on the continent, from the Central African Republic to Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, have canceled military partnerships with Paris in recent years and turned to Moscow for assistance in combating terrorism. The Sahel has been plagued by Islamic extremism since 2011, following a NATO intervention on behalf of insurgents in Libya.

The Russian embassy in Burkina Faso reopened last December, five months after the Sahel state’s interim leader, Ibrahim Traore, traveled to St. Petersburg for the Russia-Africa summit. Moscow had closed the mission in Ouagadougou in 1992. 

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