London Brags It Halved African Attendance to St. Petersburg Summit
July 26, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—Essentially confirming the charges made in RT yesterday, the Financial Times ran an article today, entitled “Russia Hits Out at West for Pressing African Leaders To Miss St. Petersburg Summit,” quoting Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy advisor Yury Ushakov, saying that only 21 heads of state would attend, just half of the 43 who attended in 2019.
According to the FT, four of the countries which succumbed to the pressure are D.R. Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia. While these countries will still be represented by lower-level administration figures, the London-based daily says that five countries have decided to skip the summit entirely. Four countries that (they say) stood up to the pressure were Egypt, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa, all of which will be represented by their heads of state.
FT quotes Ushakov saying that, “Despite the backlash from Western countries and the pressure they imposed, which was at times very fierce, we are still holding the second Russia-Africa summit in this situation. The Africans’ participation confirms their determination to strengthen ties with our country, whatever the circumstances.”
The rest of the article is all “narrative reinforcement,” either quoting analysts, or just stating that some combination of sanctions, the Wagner revolt, or suspension of the grain deal has all soured Africa to Russian overtures. They link to a Fortune article, claiming that Russian trade with Africa has been cut by two-thirds, falling from $40 billion to $14 billion since 2019.