Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov begins Africa tour in junta-led Guinea

Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov begins Africa tour in junta-led Guinea

CONAKRY, June 4 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was in Guinea on Monday on the first leg of an African tour aimed at buttressing Moscow’s influence in the world’s poorest continent.

Russia, which has seen its relations with the West plummet after it sent troops into Ukraine in 2022, has sought to boost its influence in Africa in recent years.

Russia’s foreign ministry announced the visit on the Telegram social media app with a photo of Lavrov arriving at Conakry airport overnight.

It was his first visit to Guinea since 2013.

He was received by Guinean counterpart Morissanda Kouyate. On Monday, Lavrov met Guinea’s junta leader Mamady Doumbouya, in power since a 2021 coup, Guinea’s foreign ministry said.

Guinea is poor despite considerable mineral and natural resources and has endured decades of dictatorial rule.

State news agency Tass said Guinea would be part of a tour of African countries but did not give details on which other nations Lavrov would visit.

But Russian news agency afrinz.ru said he was expected in Chad on Wednesday “at the head of an important delegation”.

The same article also said that a trip to Burkina Faso was possible, without providing a specific date.

In July, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited African leaders to a summit in Saint Petersburg where he said they agreed to promote a multipolar world order and to fight neo-colonialism.

Putin hailed the “commitment of all our states to the formation of a just and democratic multipolar world order” during a statement following the summit. — NNN-AGENCIES

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