The Representative of the Permanent Mission of Russian Federation to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, responded to the criticism of Western officials, who "speak negatively about the strengthening military cooperation between Moscow and Bamako," recalling the impact of military intervention in Libya on Mali and the Sahel region.
In a speech before the UN Security Council, the Russian diplomat referred to what has happened in the region since 2011, saying, "It is no secret that destabilization of the Sahel and particularly Mali has effected from Western reckless adventure in Libya. Protracted Western presence in this part of Africa also yielded no tangible results."
He called on his colleagues in the Security Council to admit their mistakes and abandon the "neo-colonial narrative."
He defended the choice of the Malians and other countries in the region to able to choose their partners, adding, "Russia will continue to pursue normalization in Mali through our efforts in the Security Council," pledging that Moscow will continue to provide support to Bamako, as it is considering providing food aid and additional energy.
France, the United States, and other European countries accuse Russia of committing humanitarian crimes in Mali, as the use of the Wagner military group has become widespread in several sensitive locations in the country.
Mali's transitional authorities have strengthened their control over the country by signing military and security agreements under which Moscow provides them with military support.