What Happened: The Russian Foreign Ministry is accusing the United States of attempting to increase its influence in Africa by threatening sanctions against countries that plan to purchase Russian military hardware, Tass reported Aug. 29.
Why It Matters: African countries play an important role in Russia's strategy to diversify its global partnerships, especially in terms of arms sales and military cooperation, amid Moscow's prolonged standoff with the West.
Background: Russia has signed more than 20 military cooperation agreements with African countries since 2014, including the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Mali.
- Russia's Plan for Making Friends in Africa (June 15, 2019)
- Russia Goes on a Global Search for Opportunity (March 5, 2019)
- Russia, Congo: Why Moscow Is Backing the Results of a Flawed Election (Jan. 22, 2019)