Report IRSEM No. 97 - 2023

A Foreign Policy by Proxies? The two Sides of Russia's Presence in Mali


Relations between Mali and Russia were, until recently, mostly based on defense cooperation, revived in the early 2000s on the underlying foundation of ties established during the Soviet era. However, they have gained new momentum since the two coups d’état of 2020 and 2021, and the negotiations initiated by the Malian authorities with the paramilitary organization Wagner. Already deployed in other African countries, the deployment of the Wagner Group in Mali one year ago, in December 2021, is one of the most emblematic illustrations of Moscow’s reengagement in sub-Saharan Africa initiated over the past few years. It also took place in a context of regional and international isolation of Bamako, a major political crisis between France and Mali, and the ever-deepening deterioration in relations between Russia and the West since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

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Chercheur(s) associés à cette actualité


Chercheur Stratégies d’influence

Dreyfus Emmanuel