Lavrov to Hold Talks with Mali's Foreign Minister in Moscow on Feb. 28

28 February

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is set to meet with Mali's Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop in Moscow on February 28. The discussions are expected to cover various cooperation issues between the two nations and the regional agenda.


Regular contacts between Moscow and Bamako have been maintained, with the previous ministerial meeting occurring on September 21, 2023, during the UN General Assembly. Additionally, in February 2023, Lavrov made his inaugural visit to Mali, holding meetings with President Assimi Goita and Foreign Minister Diop. The ongoing communication also extends to phone conversations. The Russian Foreign Ministry highlights that Russia and Mali possess a well-established legal framework reflecting the multifaceted nature of bilateral relations, with the Malian leadership regarding Russia as a dependable partner.


During the upcoming talks in Moscow, ministers are expected to touch upon topics including political, trade and economic, humanitarian cooperation, as well as the regional situation and military-technical collaboration.


Situation in West Africa


The political landscape in West Africa remains volatile. In July 2023, Niger experienced a military mutiny by the Presidential Guard, leading to the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum. Regional organization ECOWAS responded with stringent sanctions against the rebels, demanding Bazoum's release and threatening military action. Mali and Burkina Faso pledged support to Niger and warned against foreign intervention, creating the Alliance of Sahel States (ASC) on September 16, 2023. Subsequently, on January 28, 2024, the three nations announced their intent to withdraw from ECOWAS, citing foreign influence and threats to member states.


Russia advocates for ECOWAS members to determine their own path forward. Moscow expresses readiness to collaborate with Sahelian nations in formats they deem optimal for addressing economic challenges and security threats.


Ensuring Mali's security


Russia and Mali actively collaborate in military-technical and security spheres, a key focus of Lavrov and Diop's discussions. Significant portions of Mali's officer corps receive training in Russia, with security personnel also trained by Russian Interior Ministry institutions.


Moscow aims to deepen military-technical cooperation with Bamako on a mutually beneficial basis, encompassing trade, economy, investment, education, science, and culture. Lavrov underscores Russia's commitment to bolstering Mali's security and defense capabilities, supporting the nation's anti-terrorism efforts.

Food security is another critical area of cooperation. Russia has recently provided 25,000 tons of grain to Mali free of charge, with further assistance allocated through UN channels. Discussions in Moscow are expected to address ongoing food supply initiatives.



GSV "Russia - Islamic World"

Based on materials from TASS