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Russia FM Lavrov to begin Africa trip

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Russia FM Lavrov to begin Africa trip

Lavrov Africa trip
Lavrov Africa trip
Russia FM Lavrov will begin an Africa trip today likely to press Russia and Iran’s strategy for Africa – Photo: Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency

Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will begin a four-day trip to Africa today in a likely effort to push a Russia-Iran strategy in Africa.

During the trip, Lavrov will visit Egypt, Uganda, Ethiopia and the Republic of Congo. Lavrov’s visit to Egypt is likely staging ground for the second leg of the journey which involves larger geopolitical issues.

The global isolation of Russia accelerated Russia-Iran ties. Both Iran and Russia place high importance on building relations in Africa for access to its immense natural resources. This second ‘scramble for Africa’ may center on Congo and its uniquely rich uranium which could help Iran rapidly spin up its nuclear weapons program. Although Congo’s primary uranium mine Shinkolobwe is closed, illegal mining persists and unverified reports indicate that uranium from the mine was found in Iranian centrifuges. In the past, Congo expressed interest in re-opening the mine.

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Ethiopia, Uganda and the Congo form a strategic corridor towards the Gulf of Aden. As such, during this trip, Lavrov will likely look to secure this logistics corridor for both Russia and Iran. Access to uranium and other mineral resources in central Africa may prove crucial in maintaining an edge in great power competition where supply chains are increasingly at risk.

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