Mali, Russia reaffirm bilateral support, oppose western-led sanctions
The remarks that were delivered during the joint press conference between Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop and Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov mark an important step in the African country's history as it further breaks away from its colonial past by choosing to side with Russia against western powers.
At a press conference with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Bamako on Tuesday, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop stressed the necessity to strengthen bilateral ties with Russia in economic matters and opposed western-led sanctions which are aimed at intimidating African countries from conducting trade operations with Russia.
"Russia will make important decisions to transfer grain, energy, and fertilizers to our country ... We will work together to strengthen trade cooperation, economic ... Mali opposes any sanctions ... And we also will not support sanctions imposed on other countries," Diop told reporters.
On his part, Lavrov predicted that bilateral cooperation in military and military-technical spheres will be attaining new heights this year.
Russia had already sent a first batch of aircraft equipment in January, and will continue to provide military support in the future, including arms supplies and military training, he noted.
"Literally last year and at the beginning of this year, military and military-technical cooperation received a new development impulse. A large batch of Russian aviation equipment was sent, thanks to which the national army of Mali has recently managed to conduct successful operations in the fight against terrorists, who so far remain active on Malian territory. Well, the second batch of aircraft for these purposes was delivered quite recently — on January 19," the Russian diplomat said.
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Concerning economic ties, Diop said that Mali aims to strengthen cooperation with Moscow in all related matters.
"We also want to strengthen the economic component of our relations. We welcome the decision to strengthen relations between Moscow and Bamako — this Bamako-Moscow axis should be strengthened," the Malian Foreign Minister said.
He further said that Mali's interim President, Assimi Goyta, will be taking part in a Russia-African summit that will take place in St. Petersburg this summer.
"President Goyta ... confirms his participation in the Russia-Africa Summit, which will be held in St. Petersburg. This will allow us to further strengthen our relations and give them a new dynamic," Diop told reporters at a joint briefing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
These remarks mark an important step in the African country's history as it further breaks away from its colonial past by choosing to side with Russia against western powers.
"I prefer to talk about cooperation with Russia rather than with France... As far as France is concerned, we have drawn all the conclusions," Diop said at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Bamako.
According to the minister, cooperation with Paris "did not meet the aspirations" of the citizens of Mali.
On January 27, Lavrov said that the West is seeking to restore Africa's colonial dependence as they attempt to break the continent's cooperation with Russia.
"With a persistence worthy of better application, [American, British, and EU states] require African countries not to cooperate with the Russian Federation, not to go against a general discipline, by which they, the West, understand the restoration of colonial dependence, by and large, but already in a new form," Lavrov told journalists after a visit to Eritrea.
Since the start of the conflict, Russia continued to made food deliveries, as well as fertilizers, and energy to Africa as the West was seeking to undermine cooperation via anti-Russian sanctions.
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