Sub-Saharan Africa
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Moscow is Grateful to African Countries for Not Joining Anti-Russian Сampaign, Lavrov Says

© Sputnik . Kirill Kallinikov / Go to the mediabankRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) and Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to Russia Mahamat Paba Sale at a reception of heads of diplomatic missions of African states in Moscow on the occasion of Africa Day.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (right) and Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon to Russia Mahamat Paba Sale at a reception of heads of diplomatic missions of African states in Moscow on the occasion of Africa Day.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 07.06.2023
Since the onset of Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, Western states condemned Moscow's actions and imposed sanctions against the country in a bid to deprive it from financial resources. However, many nations from the Global South, including African countries, refused to participate in this crusade and take sides in the conflict.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov expressed Moscow's gratitude to the African nations, which did not join the anti-Russian campaign and managed to uphold a "balanced position" despite pressure from the West.
The minister delivered his remarks on Wednesday during a reception for the heads of African diplomatic missions in Moscow in honor of Africa Day, celebrated on May 25.
"I would like to express gratitude to the African partners who did not allow themselves to be drawn into the anti-Russian campaign and took a balanced position on the European security crisis," Lavrov said.
Lavrov further elaborated that Russia is willing to advance relations with African countries to the level of strategic partnership. He dubbed the issue of boosting cooperation as a "common main task" for Russia and African nations, expressing his confidence that it will be accomplished.
Russian and BRICS flags at the 1st BRICS Sherpa/Sous Sherpa meeting in St. Petersburg. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 06.06.2023
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According to the minister, Moscow is cooperating with African nations on the basis of mutual respect, principles of national sovereignty and independence. The country regards the continent's states as equal partners, assisting them in the process of ensuring regional security and stability, as well as in economic development.

"Russia provides honest assistance to the countries of the continent in strengthening their sovereignty, ensuring their security and economic growth. This is our fundamental difference from the collective West, which failed to get rid of its superiority complex," the Russian foreign minister stressed.

The minister added that Moscow is working with African countries in particular to improve food security in the region, maintaining all agreements and obligations in this area.
He stated that Russia fulfills all its obligations under international contracts in terms of export deliveries of agricultural products, fertilizers, energy carriers and other goods Africa urgently needs. Furthermore, he said, the country will continue to do so, despite the obstacles that the West is trying to create on "the way of expanding Russia's legitimate cooperation" with African nations.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa speaks  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 15.05.2023
Sub-Saharan Africa
South Africa Under 'Extraordinary Pressure' to Pick Sides in Ukraine Conflict
Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, the West stepped up its pressure on Russia, imposing unilateral sanctions on the nation. Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously stated that the policy of containment and weakening in regard to Russia is a long-term strategy of the West. According to the president, the sanctions had an adverse impact on the entire global economy. He stated that the main goal of the constraints imposed on the Russian states is to worsen lives of millions of people across the world.
Apart from direct economic sanctions imposed on Russia, several countries pointed at the West's policy to force them to join the anti-Russian campaign with threats of sanctions and blackmail. In particular, last month, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that with the outbreak of Russia-Ukraine conflict, the country has been under "extraordinary pressure" to abandon its position of being neutral and choose sides in the confrontation between Moscow and the West.