In his series of end-year review reports, Special Presidential Representative for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov, told local Russian media that Russia would continue its interaction with G5 Sahel West African countries to fight terrorism as a terrorist threat in the region had not subsided and the West’s military presence was “not so effective” in Africa.
“Moscow will continue its interaction with the G5 Sahel (Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mauritania) on arms supplies to fight terrorism. Naturally, there will be contacts with the G5 Sahel,” Bogdanov told the Russian media and noted that the group was undergoing “some internal structural changes” currently because problems had arisen over Mali’s participation.
“We have bilateral communication with all the countries of the five. We will see what format will be optimal for our partners. Interaction here is largely focused on the fight against terrorism and extremism because this Sahara-Sahel zone has become a hotbed of international terrorism and, of course, because of the collapse of Libya’s statehood and the spread of these processes to the south,” he said.
Over the past several years, the Russian Foreign Ministry has strengthened military-technical cooperation, a key part of the foreign policy of the Russian Federation with Africa. It has oftentimes explained in statements released on its website that Russia’s military-technical cooperation with African countries is primarily directed at settling regional conflicts and preventing the spread of terrorist threats, and fighting the growing terrorism in the continent.
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