Occasional Paper 341 - Moscow’s Continent: The Principles of Russia’s Africa Policy Engagement
Coherent Identifier 20.500.12592/1wtgd9

Occasional Paper 341 - Moscow’s Continent: The Principles of Russia’s Africa Policy Engagement

15 March 2023


This distancing saw the closure of embassies and economic missions, the pullback of Russian companies and the collection of debt from African countries.4 This was the logical consequence of Russia’s lack of resources in the 1990s to maintain the Soviet Union’s influence and global presence, including in Africa. [...] The Ministry of Agriculture is headed by Dmitry Patrushev, the son of Nikolai Patrushev, who is the secretary of the Russian Security Council.44 Russia is a major partner of the continent in terms of food and fertiliser exports. [...] To ease the ongoing food crisis, the UN got the Netherlands to unblock 20 000 tons of fertiliser stuck at the Dutch port of Rotterdam because of the EU sanctions.90 Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin, engaged in talks with the UN, has stressed that the precondition for the new deal on grain and fertiliser is reconnecting the Russian Agricultural Bank to the SWIFT payment system.91 In. [...] Russia hopes it can now establish a foothold in the south Mediterranean via Libya and so extend ‘the arc of deterrence’ from the Russian Federation all the way to the south Mediterranean.101 Moscow is trying to gain a foothold in the arc of instability in the Sahel-Sahara region (from Mali to Sudan, and from Libya to the CAR) near the eastern Mediterranean zone. [...] This argument opposes the idea of a ‘rules-based world order’, which is seen as imposed by the US and the West on the rest of the world.123 Moscow’s cooperation with rogue states ruled by regimes with poor relations with the West is also a potent way of challenging the notion of Western-led order and promoting the principle of non-interference in a country’s internal affairs.

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South Africa