Russian Envoy: US, EU Monopoly in Africa Coming to an End

Africa Satellite Image Map

(RIA Novosti – March 19, 2013)

The Russian president’s special envoy for cooperation with African countries, Mikhail Margelov, has said that the US, EU monopoly in the African states was coming to an end as “the new players, that is BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), have stepped in”, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported him as saying on 19 March.

Speaking at a news-conference at the agency, Margelov underlined that the relations with African partners would be on the agenda of the upcoming fifth annual BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa.

In his words, Russia’s membership in BRICS “gives additional competitive benefits, “as “firstly, none of the members have dishonoured themselves with a colonial past on the African continent and, secondly, all the member countries as a matter of principle do not interfere in the domestic policy affairs of African states. In addition, none of the BRICS countries spreads democracy by force or imposes their values with the help of expeditionary forces and bombardments.”

Commenting on promoting Russian interests in the region, Margelov, as quoted by RIA Novosti, noted that “the Russian companies operate in all the countries of the African continent, Russia writes off the debts of African states, signs new political and economic deals and provides humanitarian aid when it is needed.”

He went on to say that “nowadays one cannot find a country on the African continent that would not be ready to cooperate with Russia both in politics or economy.”

In an earlier Interfax report on the same day, Margelov was quoted as saying that, in his opinion, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s participation in the upcoming BRICS summit would be of great importance. He said: “It will be a historic visit to the African continent. The results will be interesting.”

Commenting on the agenda of the summit, Margelov underlined that the current situation in the north of Africa, Middle East, Syria, Afganistan and Iraq would be discussed as well. In addition, Margelov clarified Russia’s position on the settlement of the ongoing conflicts in the region. “We (Russia) stand for the people of these countries to choose their government and political system by themselves. In no case should the decision be imposed on them, including through the use of force,” Margelov concluded as quoted by Interfax.