Lavrov: Counterterrorism efforts in Mali succeed with Russian support

By Laureen Fagan - 7 February 2023 at 8:04 pm
Lavrov: Counterterrorism efforts in Mali succeed with Russian support

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Assimi Goïta, the interim leader of Mali, during his visit to Bamako on Tuesday, during a diplomatic trip that’s drawn concern over the security role of Russian fighters in the Sahel nation and Moscow’s bid for wider influence on the African continent.

“We are reliably meeting Mali’s needs to ensure its security and defense capability,” said Lavrov. “With our support, the Malian leaders have achieved clear successes in countering terrorism. We will certainly continue this cooperation.”

The Russian diplomat added that his conversations with Goïta revisited the issues he discussed with Malian foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop. Those issues included military and technical training, economic plans for trade and investment, humanitarian and cultural projects, and coordination with United Nations and other international group efforts.

“In the United Nations, we will firmly uphold the fundamental principle of the sovereign equality of states and oppose the increasingly frequent attempts to bring back colonialism to the international community,” said Lavrov, who has frequently championed reforms leading to an expanded role for African nations on the global stage, including at the United Nations Security Council.

For his part, Goïta praised Mali’s “sincere partnership” with Russia and the defense of their common interests.

Mali’s welcome of Wagner Group fighters from Russia has met with rejection from Western leaders placing increasing sanctions on the private military group active in a number of African states.

Political developments in Mali under Goïta led to the withdrawal of an international defense coalition led by France, including the presence of European troops and those from several African nations.

Image: Mali MFA

Laureen Fagan

Laureen Fagan

Laureen is the editor of Africa Times

Laureen is a freelance journalist creating high-quality, informed content on international affairs, politics and technology. She has worked both in and out of newsrooms since 2000. She is a former paramedic with significant experience in community resilience and nonprofit community development initiatives, and maintains "a passion for action" on sustainability and climate change. She also is trained in conflict resolution and diversity, and has special interests in science and medical reporting, and culture and religion issues. Laureen received her MSJ from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in the United States, and completed additional graduate study in theology at University of Notre Dame. Follow Laureen on Mastodon at

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