Russia has denounced France’s “egotist” behavior in Africa and has urged the country to recognize its peace efforts in the continent at the United Nations Security Council.
Speaking to the council on Thursday, Russian Deputy Ambassador Dmitry Polyanski urged France to “set aside historical complexes, egotism and parochial national interests.”
“We are pro-actively helping the CAR, knowingly with the support of the people and we would like our efforts to be duly reflected in the French draft,” said Polyanski.
The comments come after France presented a draft resolution countering a recent Russian peace initiative for the Central African Republic, arguing that any presented settlement has to be led by the African Union.
“There must be no ambiguity about the central role of the African Union initiative, as asserted in our draft resolution,” French Ambassador Francois Delattre told the council.
Furthermore, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also denounced France’s Africa policy last week, accusing the country of illegal control over the former colony island of Mayotte, north of Madagascar.
Russia has signaled its intent to increase influence in Africa, a move seen by France as meddling in its former colonies.
Since 2014, Moscow has signed 19 military agreements in African countries including Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe, according to its foreign and defense ministries.
Moreover, Russian military trainers and security advisers have been sent to CAR following a bilateral deal with the government.
Last August, Russia was able to broker a preliminary peace agreement between opposing Central African militia who had convened for talks in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
The talks are part of ongoing negotiations seeking to address unrest in CAR after sectarian violence, specifically targeting the Muslim minority, plagued the country following the toppling of then-president Francois Bozize in 2013.
Despite an announced ceasefire between the opposing factions, the country has not yet fully emerged from its bloody past.