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Faith Nyasuguta

Russia has expressed a strong interest in enhancing its relationship with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The Kremlin views the Central African nation as a highly promising partner for developing bilateral relations. This sentiment was echoed following the visit of the Congolese president to Moscow on Tuesday. The president of the DRC is equally enthusiastic about collaborating with Russia across various sectors.

According to a report by the Russian newspaper Sputnik, Russia is keen to strengthen its economic ties with the DRC, recognizing significant potential for growth. This interest was articulated on Thursday by Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. 

“The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a very promising country for us, a friendly nation for the development of bilateral relations, with potential far from being fully exploited. There is much to be done,” Peskov stated. He also mentioned that the leaders of both countries were scheduled to meet on Thursday.

The Congolese president earlier informed Sputnik that his country is open to joint ventures with Russian businesses in the nuclear, solar, and hydropower sectors. Additionally, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had discussions with Jean-Claude Gakosso, his Congolese counterpart, about the work of the joint intergovernmental commission and ways to enhance bilateral ties. This commission is set to meet in September.

/The Conversation/

In a broader context, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has actively toured West Africa to bolster Russian influence in a region traditionally allied with Western nations. This month, Lavrov pledged increased support to Burkina Faso in combating militant groups. Speaking at a news conference in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital, Lavrov emphasized Russia’s commitment to assisting the country. This visit followed his earlier stops in Guinea and the Republic of Congo.

Lavrov’s African tour comes as Russia seeks to gain support amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Many African nations have shown growing dissatisfaction with their Western partners, including France and the United States. 

“Russian instructors have been working here, and their number will increase,” Lavrov stated, noting that Russia has been aiding in the training of Burkina Faso’s military and law enforcement personnel. “We have supplied and will continue to supply military equipment to help strengthen Burkina Faso’s defense capability and eliminate remaining terrorist groups.

Lavrov also commended Burkina Faso’s stance on the Ukraine conflict. “We appreciate the objective and fair position of Burkina Faso on the war in Ukraine,” he said. “We are ready to support the just cause of Africans seeking to free themselves from neo-colonial influence.”

Russia’s diplomatic engagements in Africa, including the outreach to the DRC, reflect its strategic intent to expand influence on the continent. The discussions between Russian and Congolese officials, and the potential for increased economic cooperation, signal a deepening of ties that could bring significant changes to the bilateral relationship.

The Kremlin’s focus on sectors such as nuclear, solar, and hydropower show a forward-looking approach to economic collaboration, which could lead to substantial investments and infrastructure development in the DRC. Meanwhile, Lavrov’s tour in West Africa highlights Russia’s broader geopolitical strategy, aiming to build alliances and strengthen its presence in a region where many nations are reevaluating their historical ties with Western powers.

/NBC News/

As the situation develops, the outcomes of these diplomatic efforts and economic partnerships will likely have lasting impacts on the involved countries and their international relations.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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