Russia’s MASSIVE Growing INFLUENCE In Africa Is Changing The Entire Game | The West Is TERRIFIED

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Russia and South Africa recently pledged to enhance their mutual relations. In fact, they recently conducted a military drill together last month, marking the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

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Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, visited Pretoria during his African tour, which is his second visit since the invasion. Lavrov also visited Botswana, Angola, and Eswatini.

Reporters received information from diplomatic analysts that the tour was mainly to assert Russia’s “non isolation.” And Russia wants to show that it still has important strategic alliances despite Western sanctions and efforts to isolate it.

South Africa requested Russia to withdraw its forces from Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, just after the Ukraine invasion.

However, the tone has changed since then. 15 African countries, including South Africa, chose to abstain from the UN vote in March to condemn Russia’s war of aggression.

Naledi Pandor, South African Foreign Minister, speaks with Lavrov in a joint press conference.

She believes asking Russia to leave during the meeting is too simplistic. She also hints at Western powers giving arms to Ukraine to support its military efforts.

Pandor praises the developing economic ties between Pretoria and Moscow. She also acknowledges their political, economic, social, defense, and security collaboration.

The two countries have strong political, economic, social, defense, and security alliances. And she highlights the importance of BRICS as a group of top emerging economies.

She also says the bloc is responsible for collaborating in the face of a changing global scenario.

The BRICS summit will take place in South Africa this year. The African National Congress or ANC rules South Africa and proposes using the presidency to support the entry of new members. And this would help grow the group and counter the power of larger nations.

Pandor says that the world’s political tensions show the need to make institutions that promote peace and security. BRICS must step up and help create these institutions. They should also be involved in designing a new global order.

She advocates for ending the war peacefully through diplomacy and negotiations but doesn’t directly condemn the invasion. Now, the timing of the joint naval exercise could be deliberate.

Russia, China, and South Africa conducted a joint naval exercise from February 17 to February 27. Pandor defended the decision by stating that hosting exercises with “friends” is normal in international relations.

However, she criticized the idea that only specific countries are suitable partners. The head of the African Governance and Diplomacy Programme, Steven Gruzd, said that the joint exercise called “Mosi” will get international attention. In addition, he says the he exercise’s timing might be intentional.

Gruzd says that South Africa may have deliberately chosen to commemorate the anniversary with this action.

They want to show that they are an independent nation and will conduct their foreign policy as they see fit. And they do not want anyone to dictate or criticize their decisions.

Western partners are pressuring South Africa to stand against the Ukraine invasion. South Africa fiercely rejects this pressure and refuses to be bullied by Pandor’s words.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, expresses that the United States is worried about any country that trains with Russia.

Analysts emphasize that Russia attracts many African nations by portraying itself as an anti-imperialist force.

This taps into widespread resentment towards Western powers like the U.S., U.K., and France due to their history of oppression on the continent.

Senior research fellow Eleonora Tafuro from Italy’s ISPI says that Russia uses “anti-imperialist sentiments” and perceived “patronizing attitudes” from the West to its advantage.

But despite having a smaller trade relationship with Africa than the EU, Russia can still benefit from these factors. Pandor also mentioned that Russia, which was part of the Soviet Union, supported the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa 30 years ago.

Tafuro pointed out that it’s ironic how Russia is now using this history to justify its aggression against Ukraine.

African states don’t seem to show much empathy towards Ukrainians, despite both being victims of imperialism. Russia skillfully uses information and propaganda to create a successful narrative.

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