| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Russia Uses Africa to Circumvent Sanctions and Produce Hybrid Threats to the EU

On May 12, the ambassador of Sudan to the Russian Federation, Muhammed Sirray, said that the conflict in his country would in no way affect the agreements with Russia on the construction of the Russian Navy base. We are talking about the creation of a logistics support point for the needs of the Russian fleet. The only problem in realizing such a plan is the actual absence of a parliament in Sudan, the body that must ratify the agreement. It is worth noting that a similar base exists in Syria – the 720th logistics support point of the Russian Navy in the city of Tartus. It played an important role as a logistics hub and location of Russian troops during Russia’s military intervention in the civil war. Furthermore, it became a guarantee of maintaining the Russian military presence in the region. Putin wants to repeat a similar scenario in Sudan, which allows Russia to advance its interests in Africa and produce hybrid threats to Europe.

Russia is strengthening its presence in Africa for the sake of access to the continent’s minerals, interference in political processes within states, circumventing sanctions imposed by the West. In particular, on May 11, the US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigeti, expressed his confidence that the republic supplied weapon to the Russian army in December 2022. According to the official, ammunition was loaded on a Russian cargo ship Lady R during a three-day stay in Simon’s Town. It should be added that the troops of this country took part in military exercises together with Russia and China on the anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Despite the fact that South Africa declared its non-participation in the supply of weapons to Russia for waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, the president of the republic, Cyril Ramaphosa, sent an invitation to Putin to participate in the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in August this year, already after the issuance of an arrest warrant for Putin by the ICC. This shows that Russia is strengthening its ties with the leaders of African countries, the inevitable consequence of which will be the displacement of Europe from the “black continent” and the gradual gaining of support from its countries. The Kremlin is trying to revive the bloc confrontation.

The export of weapons from South Africa to Russia and the Kremlin’s construction of a naval base in Sudan are the red flag for the West. The infamous Wagner Group maintains its presence in Sudan. Prigozhin is a personal friend of General Mohammed Dagalo, who commands Sudan’s special forces. This military commander in April of this year made an attempt to take control over the entire army of Sudan and seize the country’s key military and infrastructure facilities, but it failed. If this happened, Russia, with the help of Prigozhin’s mercenaries, would receive carte blanche to strengthen its presence in Sudan – a large, resource-rich country in Africa, contributing to further destabilization and the production of hybrid risks and threats due to the flow of illegal migrants to Europe.

As the Russian army is defeated in Ukraine, the Kremlin increases pressure on the international community and tries to interfere in the sovereign affairs of third countries. Russia is waging a war of aggression against Ukraine, which is an absolute crime in the 21st century. Its army commits war crimes, and it is only possible to stop it by supplying weapons. Russia should fall under all possible sanctions. The comprehensive weakening of its army should also take place at the expense of weakening its economy. Anyone who helps Putin kill Ukrainians should find himself in complete international isolation.