Russia’s Lavrov swipes at West during trip to Republic of the Congo

By bne IntelliNews June 5, 2024

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took aim at the West during his visit to the Republic of the Congo on June 4, part of his broader Africa tour. 

Speaking alongside Congolese President Denis Sassou Nguesso, following a meeting between the two, Lavrov blamed the turmoil in Ukraine and Libya on Western interventions, and expressed support for Sassou’s initiative to organize an inter-Libyan conference aimed at reconciliation.

Lavrov stated that NATO is the main cause of the current problems in Libya, and noted the division between the UN-recognized government in Tripoli and the eastern administration Khalifa Haftar, the head of the Libyan National Army. Haftar has close ties with Moscow.

"What is happening in Libya is a tragedy, whose authors are NATO and its members," Lavrov said, drawing parallels to other regions affected by Western military interventions, such as Iraq and Afghanistan. 

On Ukraine, Lavrov claimed that the Congolese President had understood Russia’s perspective.

"He understands well that Ukraine is an instrument of the West, whose objective is to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia," the Russian Foreign Minister said.  

Lavrov's visit to Congo is part of Russia's ongoing diplomatic push in Africa, seeking to challenge the influence of traditional Western powers on the continent. This has ramped up during Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, as Russia seeks closer relationships with countries outside of Europe and the US.

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