From Russia with oil, guns: How the Kremlin is slowly returning to Africa
Tuesday March 17 2015
South African President Jacob Zuma (left) with Russia’s Vladimir Putin in Moscow on August 28, 2014. Russia is working with South Africa and Uganda on a number of projects — a clear indication of its return to Africa. AFP PHOTO | SERGEI KARPUKHIN
Russia is working with South Africa and Uganda on a number of projects — a clear indication of its return to Africa.
RT Global Resources, firm that won bid to build Uganda oil refinery, is a subsidiary of Russia’s largest state-backed corporation Rostec, whose chief executive, Sergey Chemezov, is on US and EU sanctions lists after Russia’s moves in Ukraine.
Moscow’s interest in Africa is also about “soft power,” says Keir Giles, director of the UK’s Conflict Studies Research Centre.
Several African leaders were educated in Moscow and the USSR invested in military advisers, equipment and support from the KGB.
Last year, Russia launched a satellite system in partnership with South Africa, known as Project Condor, providing surveillance of the entire African continent, according to spy cables leaked to Al Jazeera.