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27 Jul, 2023 01:42

West pressured African states not to attend St. Petersburg summit – Kremlin

The US and France wanted to push countries into skipping the event, Moscow has claimed
West pressured African states not to attend St. Petersburg summit – Kremlin

Western powers, including the US and France, have tried to bully other countries into skipping the upcoming Russia-Africa economic summit in St. Petersburg, the Kremlin has claimed.

“We are well aware that nearly all African countries were subjected to unprecedented pressure from the US,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday. He added that the West had been using diplomatic channels to “prevent African countries from participating in the summit.” 

“The policies of the US, France, and other [Western] states must be condemned,” Peskov argued.

“Essentially, they are denying the African countries their sovereign rights to choose their own partners, expand cooperation in different fields, and discuss relevant issues.” 

The White House has previously denied meddling in the foreign policy of African nations. 

More than 40 African countries, 17 of which will be represented by their heads of state, will attend the two-day summit that opens on Thursday, according to the Kremlin.

The delegations will discuss a wide range of issues, from trade and joint projects with Moscow to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the fate of the internationally brokered deal to allow grain shipments from Ukrainian ports. The first similar gathering took place in 2017 in Russia’s Black Sea port city of Sochi. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently accused the US and its allies of promoting “neocolonial” policies in Africa and elsewhere. On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia would help African states “in every way possible to strengthen national and cultural sovereignty.”