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Lavrov to hold talks with Nigerian counterpart in Moscow

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Lavrov to hold talks with Nigerian counterpart in Moscow

2019 Russia in Africa summit with Nigerian government officials Photo: The News Nigeria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet his Nigerian counterpart in Moscow today.

Discussions are expected to revolve around deepening economic ties. Russia is attempting to increase its influence in the global south dismissing Western criticism of its actions in Ukraine as hypocritical given the colonial past of countries such as the UK and France. Russian activity in Africa is increasing with Nigeria’s neighbor Niger’s military junta calling for the deployment of the Wagner group to consolidate its rule. The Nigerian government is reportedly interested in Russian expertise in nuclear power and in membership of BRICS.

In the short to medium term, Russia faces roadblocks to its ambitions due to its role in the collapse of the Black Sea Grain deal— whose end threatens the food security of developing countries. Should Moscow succeed in talks today to assist in the development of nuclear power in Nigeria, it may be able to improve its reputation in the global south. However, it remains unclear whether developing countries will seek out Russia as a preferred partner given the relatively small size of its economy when compared to the West or to China.

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