US-Africa Summit comments show US' inability to equal dialogue: Russia
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slams the anti-Russian and anti-Chinese statements made by the US during the US-Africa summit.
The anti-Russian and anti-Chinese statements made by the US during the US-Africa Summit prove its inability to have equal dialogue and fair competition, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
"Once again, Washington demonstrates its inability to equal dialogue and fair competition, and its assurances of the freedom of choice of African countries testify to double standards," Zakharova said in a statement.
A striking example is "the so-called Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act," which provides for collective punishment for any cooperation with Russia, Zakharova noted.
"Such a restriction of basic political and economic freedoms speaks of unfair competition and a crude imposition of the Western agenda on other countries," she said.
Zakharova emphasized Russia's solidarity with African friends who, she said, "despite the colossal pressure from the West, including the threat of ending financial support, take an independent position, primarily in the context of the situation around Ukraine."
Moscow supports the right of countries to choose their political and economic partners and to follow their own values and civilization path of development without having concerns about being punished, she added.
"Russia offers honest, mutually beneficial, and equal cooperation without punitive measures and unilateral sanctions, interference in internal affairs," Zakharova said.
For the first time since 2014, US President Joe Biden is hosting 50 African leaders in Washington for the US-Africa Summit, intended to bolster future bilateral relations, and bigger-scale collaboration on trade, investments, the war in Ukraine, and the climate crisis.
This comes after some African nations refused to stand with the West against Russia and as experts state Biden’s greatest challenge is to prove to the African leaders that his country can be a reliable, long-term partner.
Africa's reaction to the war in Ukraine influenced factors leading to hosting the summit, per expert statements.
Ebenezer Obadare, the Douglas Dillon senior fellow for Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, stated: “There’s a part of me that sort of feels that the American policy establishment is shaken by the African reaction to the Ukraine conflict. And this seems to be an overture. This seems to be born out of a realization that things aren’t what they used to be,”
“I won’t believe it for a minute if anybody says it’s got nothing to do with Russia,” Obadare said. “How did we drop the ball to such an extent that we allowed China and Russia to gain so much hold in the continent that we’re actually scrambling?”
Obadare continued: “And if the United States is going to have to hold on to its allies in the region, it is going to have to do some smooching", as he continued that the US' attempt to build long-term connections with Africa is focused on Russia's interest in the region - which the White House denied.
It is worth noting that the Biden administration is laying out more than $55 billion in support over the three-day summit and on Wednesday welcomed US and African businesses, which promised more than $15 billion in trade deals.
Disregarding his own administration's performance, Biden told African leaders that good governance was critical to trade, pointing to the "core values that unite our people -- all our people, especially young people: freedom, opportunity, transparency, good governance."
The US President announced a $100 million aid package for clean energy and the White House announced another $800 million in public and private financing for digital development in Africa.
On another level, the Chinese Ambassador to the United States rebuffed accusations on Tuesday that China is setting up a "debt trap" in Africa, saying that rather than serving as a "battlefield where major powers battle it out for geopolitical advantage," Africa should serve as a platform for international cooperation.
The envoy expressed his desire for Washington to "come up with more tangible and viable measures" at the upcoming US-Africa Summit in order to support the growth and prosperity of the African continent.
In order for China and the United States to work together and fulfill their shared responsibilities as major nations and permanent members of the UN Security Council, Qin urged both countries to cooperate. By doing so, the world's two largest economies could work together to advance peace, security, and prosperity in Africa.
Read more: Chinese Ambassador rebukes claims of 'debt trap' in Africa