Russia views Africa as a continent that will achieve supergrowth through 2050. The continent's population is expected to double alongside energy consumption.
Moscow is making its move to strengthen relations with countries in the region; if that is through oil deals, increased nuclear cooperation, or defense contracts, the shift to Africa is being made today.
What better way to show Washington that Africa is shifting to Russia than land two nuclear-capable bombers in South Africa.
The bombers touched down in South Africa on Wednesday, during the first-ever Russia-Africa summit in the southern Russian city of Sochi. President Vladimir Putin asked African leaders to double trade with Russia through 2025, Reuters reported.
South African Air Force officials reported that two Tupolev Tu-160 bombers landed at Waterkloof Air Base on Wednesday. At the same time, Russia's Ministry of Defence released several statements indicating the mission of the planes is to foster increased military cooperation with South Africa.
I was just sent this incredible video of one of the Tu-160s landing at AFB Waterkloof, taken from right under the approach path. pic.twitter.com/uwDZhtjBWE— Darren Olivier (@darren_olivier) October 23, 2019
Russian nuclear-capable TU-160 bombers land in South Africa #Newsnight #Newsfile #NewsZERO #NewsAlert #News1st #news #Russian #RussiaAfricaSummit #Russia— codedtestament (@codedtestament1) October 23, 2019
#African #Africa #Putin #War pic.twitter.com/uzShF1VnTE
Two Russian “Blackjacks”, the world’s largest supersonic nuclear bombers, arrive in South Africa for joint training. Putin hosts dozens of African leaders in Sochi. Russia is back to Africa. pic.twitter.com/HlqdW9Hf0g— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) October 23, 2019
Earlier this week, we featured an article from Vanend Maliksetian via OilPrice.com, that outlined Russia's recent move into Africa and the upcoming importance of this week's meeting.
"Virtually all great powers have set their eyes on Africa as the continent's global importance grows. Its population is set to double by 2050 and its economy is expected to expand significantly alongside its energy consumption. It is these projections that have driven Russia to invest heavily in strong relations in the region for when the continent's explosive growth takes off. The Kremlin's goal is to emulate China's success in fostering economic, diplomatic, and military links with Africa. To become an important partner, Moscow is organizing the first-ever Russia-Africa summit on 23-24 October."
President Putin's expansion into Africa is to restore the Russian empire to its pre-Soviet collapse size. To do this, Russia must expand into Africa, and increase its imports of natural resources with the continent, increase arms exports with various countries, develop and share nuclear technology, and project power to Washington that Africa is pivoting to Moscow.
"During the Cold War, Moscow maintained strong relations with countries embroiled in anti-colonial conflicts such as Angola, Mozambique, and Algeria. Russia's strategy in regaining its position vis-á-vis Africa partly revolves in reinvigorating these existing relations," Maliksetian wrote.
Reuters noted that Tupolev Tu-160 bombers landing at Waterkloof is an example of strong diplomatic ties between the countries.
"Our relations are not solely built on 'struggle politics', but rather on fostering mutually beneficial partnerships based on common interests," Russia said.
Maliksetian noted Russia is positioning itself in Africa as an "alternative to Chinese money and Western meddling."
President Putin on Monday told TASS News that Western powers have been intimidating African countries to exploit their natural resources.
"We see how an array of Western countries are resorting to pressure, intimidation, and blackmail of sovereign African governments," he said.
The global status quo is shifting, Western dominance of the world is deteriorating, the American empire stands to lose big if Russia and or China wins control of Africa.