MOskalkova agreed with the Ukrainian Ombudsman to keep the humanitarian corridor out of politics At the end of January, Moskalkova announced an agreement with Lubinets to assist in the exchange of lists of seriously wounded who are subject to deportation. She stressed that this humanitarian corridor should remain out of politicsThe Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, Tatiana Moskalkova, announced an agreement with the Ukrainian Ombudsman Dmitry Lubinets to keep the humanitarian corridor out of politics. Moskalkova reported this on the air of the TV channel “Russia 24”.
The last time Moskalkova and Lubinets met in person in Turkey was in early January. Then the Turkish Ombudsman Sheref Malkoc made a proposal to open a humanitarian corridor for those who were injured during the fighting. He was supported by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Later, Moskalkova announced an agreement with Lubinets to assist in the exchange of lists of seriously wounded who are subject to deportation.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine, Moscow and Kiev have regularly reported on the exchange of prisoners. The first one this year took place on January 8: 50 Russian soldiers were released. In mid-February, the Ministry of Defense announced the release of 101 more servicemen from captivity.
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GThe lava of the Bryansk village said that saboteurs opened fire in the village of Lyubechane the morning before in the Bryansk region two groups of saboteurs were operating, the head of the village of Novy Ropsk said. It is located between two settlements attacked the day before — Sushany and Lyubechany
On March 2, two sabotage and reconnaissance groups operated in the Bryansk region. The head of Novy Ropsk, Nikolai Samusev, told TASS about this. Novy Ropsk is a locality that is located between the villages of Sushany and Lubechane. The regional authorities reported on the eve of an attack by Ukrainian saboteurs in these two settlements.
“Since yesterday morning, there was information that the DRG (sabotage and reconnaissance group) entered Lyubechan.—RBC). We heard shooting around eight o’clock, but no one really could figure out what it was. Later, information came from Sushan that armed men with yellow armbands were also walking there. These [were] different groups,” Samusev told TASS. According to him, information about armed persons was passed to the special services.
In the village of Lyubechan, according to the official, the Ukrainian DRG reached the paramedic-obstetric station (FAP). “A man was driving from a shift, an operator of a gas boiler house in high school, he did not get in touch for a long time. Nothing was known about him. Then it turned out that he was in a car riddled,” the head of the village added. In another village, Sushanakh, they also opened fire, but there were no victims.
Photo: Sergey Bobylev/TASS
On March 2, the governor of the region, Alexander Bogomaz, reported that saboteurs from the territory of Ukraine penetrated into the village of Lyubechane in the Klimovsky district and fired at a car. According to the UK, two people were killed as a result. A ten-year-old child was injured. At the same time, according to Bogomaz, a drone attacked the village of Sushany. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the incident a terrorist attack.
Both Sushany and Lubechane are located near the border of the Chernihiv region of Ukraine at a distance of 16 km from each other. There are several other settlements located between them and the state border, including Novy Ropsk. There were no reports about the appearance of saboteurs in the last.
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Novy Ropsk is the administrative center of the municipality of Novoropskoye rural settlement, which includes the settlement of Sushany. Lubechane is part of another administrative unit of the Brachlovsky rural settlement.
Later, the FSB reported that they conducted an operation together with the Ministry of Defense to destroy Ukrainian saboteurs. They were “squeezed out” from the territory of the Bryansk region, after which a massive artillery strike was inflicted on the group. At about 17:00 Moscow time, the FSB reported that the situation in the settlements of the Klimovsky district of the Bryansk regionit is under the control of law enforcement agencies. Later, the former press secretary of the Rosgvardiya, now the head of the Duma committee on information policy, Alexander Khinshtein, reported that the Rosgvardiya machine was blown up by a mine while cleaning the territory near the village of Sushany. According to him, four Russian Guards received light shrapnel wounds.
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PForeign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said that Lavrov and Blinken did not discuss the topic of Paul Whelan After a short meeting between Lavrov and Blinken on the sidelines of the G20 session, the latter said that he discussed, among other things, the problem of Paul Whelan arrested for espionage in Russia. Zakharova said that the US Secretary of State “did not stutter on this score”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov did not discuss with US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken the topic of the American Paul Whelan convicted on charges of espionage, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.
“Oh, how interesting. I checked with Sergey Viktorovich, Blinken raised the topic of Whelan yesterday. It turned out that the US Secretary of State did not even stutter on this score. Everything that was said yesterday in the State Department about Blinken expressing concern about the situation around a US citizen is a lie, she wrote in Telegram.
Lavrov and Blinken spoke on March 2 “on the move” during a session of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. After that, Blinken said that he had discussed the problem of Paul Whelan with the Russian minister, CNN reported. He also said that the United States had made a “serious offer” for an American whom Washington hopes to exchange, and that Moscow should accept it.
Whelan was detained in Moscow in December 2018. He was charged under Article 276 of the Criminal Code (“Espionage”). In June 2020, the Moscow City Court sentenced him to 16 years in a strict regime colony. In recent years, the United States has been seeking Whelan’s exchange.
The first face-to-face conversation between Lavrov and Blinken after the start of the conflict in Ukraine lasted about ten minutes, writes Reuters. The agency’s source in the White House clarified that Blinken called during the conversation to reconsider the decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (STCW). He also assured Lavrov that the United States will continue to help Ukraine for as long as Kiev needs it.
The conversation took place at the initiative of the American side, the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova pointed out. The representative of the US State Department, Ned Price, said after the meeting that Washington would not apologize for the conversation. “I know our Russian colleagues are trying to make a fuss out of this. But it is important to note from our side that it was a short contact, not a full-fledged bilateral meeting or a lengthy conversation between them. We will not apologize for this,” Price noted.
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WSJ: The United States has pledged to transfer $30 billion worth of missiles, armored vehicles and ammunition to Ukraine over the past year, the Pentagon has pledged to supply artillery, missiles, radar systems, millions of cartridges and other weapons to Ukraine for $30 billion, the WSJ writes. According to Reuters, on March 3, the United States will announce another delivery of $ 400 million
Patriot launcher installed on M983 HEMTT
Since the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, the United States has allocated more than $30 billion to help the latter in the field of security. The AFU has promised to provide artillery, missiles, small arms, armored vehicles, radar systems, bulletproof vests, millions of rounds of ammunition and much more, writes The Wall Street Journal.
It is still difficult to determine how many units of equipment have already been delivered or promised by the United States, in particular, due to the huge scale of deliveries, the WSJ pointed out. The list of equipment transferred to the Armed Forces of Ukraine includes 10 thousand anti-aircraft installations and anti-tank complexes, more than 200 helicopters and tanks, as well as over 1.5 million artillery shells and ammunition for them.
The US authorities promised to announce on March 3 a new supply of weapons to Ukraine, which will mainly include shells for weapons systems already in use by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. According to Reuters, we are talking about GMLRS missiles for HIMARS MLRS, shells for Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other equipment totaling $400 million.
The Kremlin insists that Western weapons only prolong the conflict, but do not prevent Moscow from achieving its goals. President Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s victory in Ukraine is inevitable.
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GThe US State Department refused to apologize for the conversation between Blinken and Lavrov at the G20 summit Blinken briefly talked with Lavrov in the interests of the United States and this will not be a reason for an apology, the State Department warned. During the conversation, the Secretary of State called for the resumption of Russia’s participation in the DSNV and to stop the military operation
The United States will not apologize for the conversation between Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 summit in India, as the first raised issues of concern to Washington. This was stated by the representative of the department Ned Price during a briefing. The broadcast was on YouTube.
“I know our Russian colleagues are trying to make a fuss out of this. But it is important to note from our side that it was a short contact, not a full-fledged bilateral meeting or a lengthy conversation between them. We will not apologize for this,” Price explained.
According to the Russian side, Blinken asked for the meeting. “Sergey Viktorovich talked. There were no negotiations, meetings and so on,” said the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova.
The conversation lasted about ten minutes, writes Reuters. A source in the White House said that Blinken called during the conversation to reconsider the decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (STCW). He also assured his Russian counterpart that the United States will continue to help Ukraine for as long as Kiev needs it.
Blinken said at the G20 press conference that he “briefly talked” with Lavrov. According to the Secretary of State, he called for stopping the military operation in Ukraine and “engaging in meaningful diplomacy that can lead to a just and lasting peace.”
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The meeting between Lavrov and Blinken was the first since last July, when the G20 foreign ministers met in Indonesia, but they did not talk personally. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov noted on the eve of the summit in India that there were no personal contacts between the Russian side and Blinken during the meeting.
PThe SPD’s Artia Scholz refused to expel ex-Chancellor Schroeder for ties with Putin and Russia, the SPD Commission for the second time found no violations of the party’s charter or principles in Schroeder’s actions. Earlier, several party cells demanded that he be expelled, the SPD leader said that he himself should leave. He is accused of friendship with Putin
In Hanover, the arbitration commission of the second instance of the SPD party in Hanover found no reason to exclude former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, seven regional party branches had previously demanded this, writes Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The Commission could not “determine with sufficient certainty” the fact of Schroeder’s violation of the charter, principles or party customs, or establish his guilt in a dishonorable act. The conclusion stated that “perhaps over the past 25 years, leading German politicians have incorrectly assessed the danger of dependence on energy supplies from Russia,” which can be attributed to many politicians from different parties.
The SPD’s regional cells in Berlin, Saxony, Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg expressed disappointment with the commission’s decision, pointing out that Schroeder’s work in Russian state-owned companies and refusal to distance himself from Russia’s military operation in Ukraine are incompatible with basic social democratic values.
The SPD representative said that they took note of the decision of the arbitration commission in Hanover, but this does not negate the fact that Schroeder is “politically isolated with his position on Russia” in the party. As Stern points out, the SPD party rules provide for exclusion as the most severe punishment. Schroeder himself told the publication that he was not surprised by the arbitration commission’s decision, since it is “politically consistent” and has legal grounds.
The regional branches of the SPD can now file charges against Schroeder with the Federal Arbitration Commission of the party. However, it is unlikely that they will decide on another hearing of the case against two acquittal decisions of the first and second instance commissions, notes Süddeutsche Zeitung. The SPD offices warned about the desire to discuss further actions.
For the first time, 17 regional branches of the party filed complaints against Schroeder last summer, party members were outraged by friendship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the fact that the former chancellor held high positions in Russian energy companies.
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The commission then also did not see any reason to exclude the former chancellor, pointing out that personal friendship with Putin does not violate the SPD charter. At the same time, they considered that it was appropriate for a member of the SPD to distance himself from the Russian authorities and the military operation, and not just call it a mistake. The Commission then decided that Schroeder’s statements did not go so far beyond the principles of the party.
Schroeder held the post of German Chancellor for seven years— in 1998–2005, after him the position was taken by Angela Merkel. Since 2017, he has chaired the Board of Directors of Rosneft, and also chaired the Shareholders’ committee of Nord Stream AG, the operator of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline.
Back in May last year, the SPD co-chair Saskia Esken said that Schroeder was obliged to leave the party.
He was repeatedly criticized for his close ties with Russia, the current Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on Schroeder to leave positions in Russian companies. The European Parliament in May adopted a resolution on sanctions against Schroeder if he does not stop cooperating with them. The next day, he resigned from the board of directors of Rosneft and declined an offer to join the board of directors of Gazprom. The former chancellor himself explained the decision by protecting the family and added: “It’s also unpredictable that they are satisfied with their sanctions zeal.”
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HInshtein: the Rosgvardiya car was blown up by a mine in the Bryansk region, four people were injured, three SOBRA fighters and a riot police bomb technician were injured, they have light shrapnel wounds. Employees were engaged in “cleaning up the territory” after the attack of saboteurs on border villages
In the Bryansk region, the Rosgvardiya car was blown up by a mine during the “cleaning of the territory” near the village of Sushany in the Klimovsky district, four employees were injured. This was announced in the telegram channel by the former press secretary of the department, the head of the Duma committee on information policy Alexander Khinshtein.
Among the injured are three employees of the Bryansk SOBR, a squad commander and two fighters, as well as a riot police bomb technician. According to Khinstein, they have minor shrapnel wounds, nothing threatens the life and health of employees.
As the deputy noted, the forces of the Rosgvardiya were involved from the very beginning of the military operation, and after receiving information about the terrorist attack, a combined squad of riot police and SOBR, together with the airborne forces, who were on the strengthening of the border, moved to the place. At the same time, a reserve of the SOBR and OMON with groups of explosives experts were sent from Bryansk.
“In the future, the forces of the Rosgvardiya carried out a sweep of the village of Lubechane, and the demining of the territory of the village of Sushana,” Khinstein added.
The authorities of the Bryansk region reported on March 2 about the attack of saboteurs who penetrated from the territory of Ukraine. According to the governor Alexander Bogomaz, they entered the village of Lyubechane and fired at a car, according to the UK, two people were killed. A ten-year-old child was injured.
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The Ministry of Defense and the FSB conducted an operation to destroy the saboteurs, they were “squeezed out” from the territory of the Bryansk region, and then inflicted a massive artillery bombardment. The UK has sent investigators and criminologists to the region.
“Another terrorist act, another crime. They penetrated into the border territory and opened fire on civilians,” President Vladimir Putin then said. In Kiev, they stressed: “Ukraine does not attack the territory of Russia! Ukraine does not send DRG there. <..."Ukraine doesn't need it." The office of the Ukrainian president noted that the Bryansk village is not a strategic object and is not of interest to Kiev.
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MID: The West violated the terms of the memorandum of the United Nations and Russia on the supply of agricultural products, the grain deal expires on March 18, the contract is automatically extended in the absence of claims from the parties. The United States, Ukraine and the UN called for the extension of the agreement, the Russian Foreign Ministry said the West failed to fulfill the terms of the deal
The United States and Ukraine want to achieve an extension of the grain deal for the export of food from Ukrainian ports, but the agreements concluded earlier do not work, as Kiev and Western countries sabotage their implementation, according to a statement on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“It is obvious that Americans and Europeans do not care about the needs of the countries in need, nor about the efforts of the UN, which they have long and persistently tried to turn into an obedient tool for serving their political goals. <..."The West is shamelessly burying the humanitarian package of the UN Secretary General," the ministry said.
A significant part of Ukrainian grain arrives at dumping prices in the European Union, and not the poorest countries of the world, while agricultural exports from Russia are being “openly hindered,” the Foreign Ministry said, pointing to the need to “stop playing the food card.”
The Ukrainian authorities, for political reasons, do not allow the resumption of ammonia supplies via the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline, despite the fact that the provisions on this are spelled out in both Istanbul agreements, and the transshipment of ammonia could begin synchronously with the export of grain from Ukraine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued.
“But neither Ukrainians nor Westerners are at all concerned that as a result of such actions, 2.5 million tons of raw materials were not delivered to the world market, sufficient for the production of 7 million tons of fertilizers to supply 200 million people with food. As they do not care about not only the crisis of the affordability of fertilizers, but also their physical shortage,” the department insists.
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The grain deal was concluded in July 2022, Russia and Ukraine signed it separately with Turkey and the UN acting as intermediaries. The agreement included two parts: an agreement on the safe export of Ukrainian grain from Odessa, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny, the lifting of restrictions on the access of Russian agricultural products to the world market. Representatives of the UN and Turkey pledged to monitor that no ammunition or weapons will be transported on the ships.
The grain deal expires on March 18. The deal was concluded for 120 days with the condition of automatic extension in the absence of claims from the parties.
The US authorities called on Russia to agree to the extension, the prolongation of the treaty was also supported by UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteris. In Kiev, they intend not only to extend the deal for at least a year (instead of the next 120 days), but also to add the port of Nikolaev to the deal. “The Ukrainian and global agricultural market needs to be able to plan these volumes [of exports] in the long term,” explained Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov.
Diplomats and the Russian authorities have repeatedly noted that the first part of the deal is being respected, while the second part regarding Russian exports is not. At the same time, the Kremlin acknowledged that there is progress in solving this problem: “Both the UN members did a very good job, and our negotiators. That is, there are achievements here in this case, but there is still something to be done.
Turkey and the UN expect Western countries to guarantee that there will be no obstacles to the export of Russian agricultural products and ammonia, a source familiar with the negotiations on the grain deal told RIA Novosti at the end of February.
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ToThe Ukrainian conflict has divided the participants of the G20, the Ukrainian conflict has divided the participants of the G20 ministerial meeting — they have not been able to agree on a final joint statement. But in New Delhi, the first contact between Sergey Lavrov and Anthony Blinken took place since the beginning of hostilities
How the Ukrainian conflict did not allow to coordinate the statement
The meeting of foreign ministers of the G20 member countries held in New Delhi on March 2, the main event before the summit of the leaders of the G20 in September 2023, ended without an official joint statement: the foreign ministers could not agree on wording related to the Ukrainian conflict. This was announced by Indian Foreign Minister SubramanyamJaishanankar. “Given the polarization of opinions about Ukraine, consensus could not be reached. There are cases when we do not have an agreement between the G20 countries,” he stated. According to Bloomberg, Russia and China at the meeting in New Delhi also insisted that in the final document military actions in Ukraine should not be called a war. Officially, Russia is talking about a special military operation.
Instead of the final statement approved by all participants following the meeting of the Foreign Ministers, a summary compiled by the chairman was released (since December 1 last year, this is India). It states that “the majority of the members condemned”the conflict in Ukraine, which “negatively affects the global economy”. The summary notes that “there were different views and different assessments of the situation and sanctions”. “Realizing that the G20 is not a platform for solving security problems, we recognize that these problems can have serious consequences for the global economy,” the document states.
A similar situation happened a week earlier at a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers of the G20, where representatives of Russia and China also disagreed with the wording of other participants. Bloomberg, citing unnamed Indian officials, reported that Delhi was upset by this outcome. After the meeting of finance ministers and heads of central banks, a summary of the meeting from its chairman was also distributed.
Bloomberg emphasizes that the fate of the final statement casts doubt on whether it will be possible to agree on a common document at the summit of heads of state in September.
«Big Twenty» (also G20, G-20, «Group of Twenty»)the club of governments and heads of central banks of the states with the most developed and developing economies. This year the club is chaired by India, so the events are held on its territory.
The previous leaders’ summit, held on September 15 and 16 last year in Bali, ended with the adoption of a document stating that the majority of G20 representatives strongly condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but the Russian side insisted on indicating the existence of alternative points of view in it.
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What the forum participants said
Before the ministers’ meeting, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed them via video link, who urged the participants not to allow the existing disagreements and tensions to hinder the achievement of agreements on food and energy security and climate. “We meet in times of deepglobal disagreements,” Modi said, noting that they create tension in international relations. “We all have our own positions and views on how to resolve this tension. We should not allow problems that we cannot solve together to interfere with solving those that we can,” Modi is quoted by the AP agency.
The Ukrainian conflict has become the main topic of speeches by the foreign ministers of Western countries. German Foreign Minister Annalena Berbock said that “one member of the G20 prevents all the other 19 from focusing all their efforts on the issues for which the G20 was created,” meaning Russia. Then she appealed to the Russian minister to “end this war”. “I ask you, Mr. Lavrov, to return to the full implementation of START-3 (the treaty with the United States on strategic offensive arms, the validity of which was suspended by Russia.—RBC) and resume dialogue with the United States,” Reuters quotes her.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that the G20 meeting was overshadowed by Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine, and said it was necessary to continue calls for Russia to stop military actions for the sake of international peace and economic stability.
Dutch Foreign Minister Vopke Hoekstra appealed to Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang to warn about the negative consequences of possible arms supplies to Moscow. “What is important and what I have conveyed to each of my colleagues, including my Chinese colleague, is that, you know, the truth is not somewhere in the middle, only one country is to blame, and that is Russia. Therefore, everyone else should refrain from providing military assistance to Russia,” he said.
Sergey Lavrov did not remain in debt. “I would like to apologize to the Indian presidency and colleagues from the countries of the global South for the indecent behavior of a number of Western delegations, who turned the work on the agenda of the G20 into a farce in an attempt to shift their responsibility for failures in economic policy to others, primarily to Russia,”mdash; he said (quote from the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs). At a press conference following the meeting, the Minister also commented on the calls fornegotiations on the Ukrainian conflict. According to him, Russia “never refuses serious proposals that are made out of a sincere desire to find a political solution.” He noted that he did not remember that any of the representatives of Western countries called for negotiations in Kiev. “Probably, this has its own serious truth, because Ukraine is just being set up for the continuation of the war,” Lavrov said.
How the conversation between Lavrov and Blinken became the main sensation of the meeting
The meeting in New Delhi was the first venue where Lavrov and Blinken found themselves in the same room since July 2022, when they participated in the meeting of the “Twenty” in Indonesia. In the same month, the first and only telephone conversation took place since the beginning of hostilities in Ukraine, dedicated, according to the US State Department, to the issue of exchangeAmerican citizens Paul Whelan and Brittney Griner. (Last December, Brittney Griner, convicted in Russia for drug smuggling, was exchanged for Viktor Bout, a Russian convicted in the United States for illegal arms trafficking. Former US Marine Paul Whelan, convicted in Russia in 2020 on espionage charges, continues to serve his sentence.)
On Thursday afternoon, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that the ministers had a brief conversation. Blinken asked for contact with Lavrov. On the move, during the second session of the “Twenty”, Sergey Viktorovich talked. There were no negotiations, meetings and so on,” she told reporters.
Later, the official representative of the United States clarified that the conversation lasted about ten minutes, and during this time Blinken told the interlocutor three theses: The United States will continue to support Ukraine for as long as necessary until the conflict ends; Russia must return to implementing START 3; finally, it must release Whelan. Zakharova did not disclose the details of the conversation between the Russian minister and the US Secretary of State, but noted to RIA Novosti that Lavrov responded to all Blinken’s calls in his usual manner.
EEmmanuel Macron announced the end of the “French era Africa” Now Paris will act as a “neutral interlocutor,” the president said. He is currently in Gabon as part of a four-day tour of Africa
Emmanuel Macron (center) during a visit to Gabon
French President Emmanuel Macron said that the era of “Francafrica” has ended, his words are quoted by BFMTV.
The Head of State went on a four-day trip to Africa. The first stop is in Gabon. Macron, together with the heads of several Central African states, participates in the One Forest Summit dedicated to the protection of forests, in Libreville. After Gabon, he will visit Angola, the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to Macron, Paris will now act as a “neutral interlocutor” on the mainland. “Sometimes I have a feeling that the mentality is not changing at the same pace as we are, when I read, hear, see that France is still being credited with intentions that it no longer has,” he noted.
Back in 2019, Macron called colonialism a big mistake. He noted that he belongs to a generation that does not belong to the era of colonization.
At the end of February, the French leader, speaking about Paris’ new policy towards African countries, said that Africa is anything but a land of suffering and submission. This is the land of optimism and voluntarism. He also said at the time that the number of French troops in Africa would significantly decrease in the coming months. The main French base is located in Côte d’Ivoire, near Abidjan, where 900 people are stationed, and 350 military personnel are stationed in Senegal and Gabon. More than 2,500 are dispersed in Niger and Chad after the withdrawal of French troops from Mali and Burkina Faso.
Last summer, the Elysee Palace announced the completion of the withdrawal of troops from Mali after nine years of presence due to the position of the military ruling after the coup.
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In November last year, Macron announced the end of the anti-terrorist operation “Barkhan” in the Sahel region, launched in 2014. At the end of January this year, France announced the withdrawal of troops from Burkina Faso within a month, after the junta in power denounced the 2018 agreement concerning the status of French troops.
In the summer, Macron accused Russia of a “hybrid presence” in Africa due to the development of propaganda, due to the intervention of Wagnerians. The EU claimed that in Mali, due to the reduction of the French military presence, mercenaries of the PMCs “Wagner” were deployed. Bamako did not confirm this, although Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Malian authorities had turned to one of the Russian PMCs for help in the fight against terrorism. Lavrov called Macron’s words offensive to African countries, noting that he expected more ethical statements from Paris.
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