Russian Interests in Sub-Saharan Africa
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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Competition for resources, political influence, and access to markets will continue to increase among global powers as finite resources continue to dwindle. Russia is fully aware of this and has begun to look outside established power centers such as Europe and the West toward Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa is a hub of undeveloped natural resources, a nest of conflict to fuel potential arms sales, and an area ripe for cultivation of political support for Russian interests on the world stage. While Russian interest in Sub-Saharan Africa is certainly not new, current economic realities require Russia to invest scarce resources into a politically unstable area of the world in order to compete for its benefits, including access to natural resources and other business opportunities. Russia is still recovering from the global financial crisis and, due to existing obligations and other foreign policy priorities, Moscow s relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa still remains underdeveloped. Largely losing the influence battle to the United States and China, Moscow will likely focus on political cooperation, arms sales, and targeted investment into urgently needed natural resources with Sub-Saharan Africa for the near term. This Paper examines the drivers for Moscow s interest in Sub-Saharan Africa and charts its potential development in the near term, including the scope for conflict with the United States. Shortly after this monograph was finalized for publication, another series of high-profile visits by key Russian officials confirmed the author s main conclusions by signaling a further round of seemingly increased interest in the region. U.S. policymakers should be aware of the implications of increased Russian presence and attempts at increased influence in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Economics and Cost Analysis
- Government and Political Science