Russia Deepens African Ties as West’s Influence Wanes

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in Guinea on Monday, continuing his recent tour of West Africa. His visits come as some African nations grow discontented with traditional Western allies like France and the United States, contributing to a shift toward closer ties with Moscow instead. Over the past couple of years, Lavrov has visited the African continent multiple times as Russia seeks support, or at least neutrality, from many of its 54 countries regarding the invasion of Ukraine.

After meeting Guinea’s foreign minister to discuss cooperation areas, Lavrov was expected to travel to the Republic of Congo to meet President Denis Sassou N’Guesso. Since seizing power in a 2021 coup, Guinea’s military junta under Col. Mamadi Doumbouya has rebuffed Western intervention in African political affairs.

Several other West African nations including Mali, Niger, and Burkina Faso have also experienced military juntas taking power through coups. These juntas have severed or scaled back long standing military partnerships with Western powers in favor of new security cooperation with Russia. Last year, Lavrov visited Mali promising military support, and South Africa which has remained neutral on Ukraine. He also toured North Africa, where Russia seeks to boost its influence amid declining Western popularity.

The military juntas governing Burkina Faso and Niger have ousted French forces and turned to Russian military trainers and aid instead. Lavrov’s West African tour reflects Moscow’s broader strategy of increasing influence and partnerships across Africa by positioning itself as an alternative to Western involvement on the continent.

About Geraldine Boechat 2732 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia