The Debate

Russia in Africa: What's behind Moscow's big return to the continent?

THE DEBATE
THE DEBATE FRANCE 24

Vladimir Putin is welcoming more than 40 leaders to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, hot on the heels of the deal he brokered there on Tuesday with Turkey, Syria and the Kurds. It's another diplomatic coup that's sure to be picked up on by guests who see US foreign presence in retreat on their continent, a UK in the throes of Brexit and who get the value of hedging their bets when it comes to strategic partnerships with the likes of China and France.

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But those leaders also know that when it comes to Africa, Moscow's economic might lags. Beyond traditional staples such as arms sales and intelligence, what can Russia bring and what does it want?

And we ask why Russia's taken a sudden interest in the likes of the Central African Republic and Republic of Congo, resource-rich countries with weak states. Could we see a return to the Cold War days, when the Soviets held sway in countries stretching from Angola to Algeria?

Produced by Alessandro Xenos, Juliette Laurain and Ingri Bergo.

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