In an interview with the Sputnik agency, the diplomat assured that Russia is open to expanding international exchange within the African continent with China and the European Union.
According to Tkachenko, Moscow understands that “many have their own economic and political interests, which do not always coincide with those of others (…) but we believe that healthy competition can even benefit the cause, the main thing is that it be civilized. Our principled approach is to focus on cooperation, not confrontation,” he stressed.
The diplomat stressed that African nationals are the ones who must decide with whom to cooperate and how.
The statements of the representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry respond to criticism from France for the possible cooperation of the authorities of Mali with the Wagner Group private military company, an agreement that does not yet exist.
“We consider that the criticisms must be substantial and based on credible facts or evidence. In this case, the French reaction to the possible relationship of the Malian authorities with Russian private companies seems somewhat exaggerated for something that is not there yet”, Tkachenko stressed.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned previously in relation to this that the accusations against his country about the sending of “mercenaries” to Mali are unfounded, and detailed that Moscow has already explained to the French “partners” the type of exchange they are currently developing.
In an interview with Sputnik, the Foreign Minister of Mali Abdoulaye Diop also assured that the anti-Russian media campaign on the work of Russian PMCs in his country aims to end cooperation.