Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday denounced the “colonial mentality” of France and Europe in Mali, welcoming his counterpart Abdullaye Diop in Moscow.
“(France) ‘s dissatisfaction with the Mali authorities’ desire to seek the help of foreign security forces is nothing but a reversal of the colonial mentality that Europeans should have put aside for a long time,” he said. during a press conference.
Mr Lavrov warned in Mali that “pockets of anarchy, where fighters of illegal armed groups would operate unhindered”, were “in real danger” in Mali. This would pose a “threat to the territorial integrity” of the Sahel country, which “we have already said repeatedly to our French colleagues,” he added.
“We understand, but we do not appreciate the efforts of France and other EU countries to secure a dominant role in Africa and elsewhere,” Lavrov said, calling it “unacceptable” that Paris wanted to “dictate” Mali’s behavior. .
The Russian foreign minister assured that Moscow would provide support to Bamako to improve the African country’s combat capability and “armed forces capabilities”, in particular by training military and police personnel.
He also assured that Moscow will continue to supply Mali with wheat, fertilizers and petroleum products, at a time when Russia is facing sweeping sanctions over its military invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions have hit Russia’s export potential and heightened concerns about a global food crisis.
Paris decided in February to withdraw French troops from Mali amid deteriorating security and tensions with the African country’s military junta, which the West accuses of hiring Wagner’s private Russian military company, for which the Kremlin’s private army .
Bamako denies this, talking about transnational cooperation, the arrival of Russian soldiers in the role of advisers and trainers, similar to the one that the Europeans had.