LONDON (ANTARA) – The United States is trying to undermine a planned summit between Russia and African countries to isolate Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview broadcast on Tuesday.
He told the Argumenty i Fakty news website that Moscow is different from the West in its relationship with Africa.
“We will not tell foreign partners how they should live their lives. We have no secret agenda,” Lavrov said.
Moscow is preparing for the second summit meeting with African countries, scheduled to take place at the end of July in St. Petersburg, with discussions on infrastructure, technology and energy projects.
“It is true that the United States and its supporters are doing everything they can to isolate Russia from the rest of the world,” Lavrov told the website.
“In particular, they tried to disrupt the second Russia-Africa meeting… by persuading our African friends not to participate,” he said, adding.
In any case, Lavrov said, the possibility of disrupting the meeting is fading because “there are fewer and fewer people who do not want to follow the path of their colonial countries”.
Efforts to disrupt our cooperation with countries in the South and East will continue, but the success (of the disruption) is still uncertain,” he said.
The US State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shunned by most Western nations since invading Ukraine more than a year ago, Moscow has turned to countries in Asia and Africa.
Lavrov seems to be eager to build relations with Africa. He visited the continent twice this year and is visiting in mid-2022.
South Africa this year held a 10-day military exercise with Russian and Chinese troops.
The Russian mercenary group Wagner, which is fighting in Ukraine, has been deployed against rebels in Mali and the Central African Republic.
US President Joe Biden is organizing a summit meeting of US and African leaders to be held in 2022 in Washington with the intention of strengthening cooperation amidst the increasing influence of Russia and China in the continent.
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