As the war in Ukraine bites Russia’s economy hard, Putin’s administration looks for new partners in Africa and Asia. Kenya is the latest African nation to play host to Russia’s top diplomats for bilateral talks.
In an unannounced visit, Russian top Diplomat and staunch supporter of Russian Dictator Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, arrived in Nairobi Kenya on Monday. He has met the House Speaker Moses Masika Wetangula and is expected to meet other top government officials later in the day.
William Ruto had skipped the inauguration of the newly elected Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, probably to meet Lavrov.
Russia has been warming up its relations with African countries after being slammed by the West for its military campaign in Eastern Ukraine.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022 with an ambition to take Kyiv in three days; but it is now well over one year and three months into the war.
Western Countries, including the United States and its allies, imposed economic sanctions on Russia with an aim to limit the country’s ability to fund its war against Ukraine.
The sanctions do not seem to scare Putin and majority of Russians at home and abroad. However, the economic consequences are hard to ignore as the country’s inflation rises and GDP drops.
Putin has made allies in Asia including China, Iran and India with an aim to find markets for its oil. India has already agreed to buy Russian oil and weapons at discounted prices, while Iran is selling drones and artillery to Putin’s government.
Lavrov’s visit to Nairobi is one of its exploits in Africa to try and push for better relations with the continent. Having markets for its products in Africa is one of Russia’s top priority.
South Africa, which is a member of BRICS economic bloc, has been friendly to Russia since the apartheid war. Russia now seeks to extend that diplomatic relations to other countries of Africa, including Kenya.
William Ruto will meet Lavrov to discuss various ways of partnering with Russia economically and politically.