Russia seeking non-Western ties in Egypt, other African states
Egypt 'identifies that the world is becoming more, and not less, multipolar'
Russia’s foreign minister will begin an African tour in Egypt on Sunday, seeking to forge non-Western alliances as Moscow pushes back against international pressure over its invasion of Ukraine.
Sergei Lavrov will meet with Egyptian officials who trying to square deep links to Russia with their close relationship with the United States, which along with other Western powers is working to isolate Moscow in response to its assault on Kyiv.
After meeting with Arab League members in Cairo, Lavrov will travel to Ethiopia and Uganda in east Africa, two countries whose relations with the West are under strain.
He will then take a trip across the continent to the Congo Republic.
Egypt and Russia have significant strategic and economic ties, as Moscow is a key source of wheat, weaponry, and (before the war) tourists.
Earlier this week, Russian state-owned energy firm Rosatom started long-delayed construction on Egypt’s first nuclear plant.
Ties between Cairo and Moscow are causing angst with Western leaders, who petitioned the Egyptian government and the Arab League ahead of Lavrov’s visit not to play into Russia’s version of events in Ukraine.
While Egypt’s position on Russia’s invasion is in line with the West, such a stance has gained limited traction in the rest of Africa as well as the Arab world, where governments are receptive to non-Western alternatives, according to H.A. Hellyer of a UK-based think-tank.
Egypt "identifies that the world is becoming more, and not less, multipolar, and it doesn't want to limit itself to a relationship that privileges the West above all else," he said.