Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister to visit Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will today meet in Moscow with his Sierra Leonean counterpart to discuss bilateral cooperation. The

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Photo: Cocorioko

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will today meet in Moscow with his Sierra Leonean counterpart to discuss bilateral cooperation.

The ministers are expected to address a range of topics, including energy cooperation, counterterrorism in Africa and COVID-19 mitigation.

They will also discuss the subject of reforming the UN Security Council (UNSC). For years, African leaders have called for the UNSC—the body responsible for maintaining international peace and security—to expand its permanent membership of five to include seats for at least two African countries.

While such reform is highly unlikely, as it would require the approval of all five permanent members, Moscow’s willingness to entertain the subject suggests its continued efforts to court political favor on the continent. This comes out of over a decade of trying to keep up with American and Chinese efforts to maintain access to markets, develop bilateral and multilateral trade relationships and improve military ties.

In the long-term, this trend of continuing efforts by Russia to deepen political and diplomatic ties to sub-Saharan Africa is likely to continue. In the medium-term, Russia will continue offering development aid, counterterrorism support and trade deals to build its influence. A second Russia-Africa summit is already in the works for 2022.

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