Position of African Countries on Russia's War Against Ukraine : Russia's soft power in Africa Today

The Asian, African and Latin American Studies Research Group of the Institute of International Relations and Political Sciences of Vilnius University in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in the Republic of South Africa is inviting you to the discussion "The Position of African Countries on the Russian War in Ukraine : Russia's soft power in Africa Today".
Published 18 May 2023

The aims of the discussion are to learn more about the politics of African countries, public sentiments, Russia's influence on the African continent and to find parallels with the Baltic countries. Representatives of the think tanks of the Republic of South Africa (SAR), Lithuanian diplomats and representatives of the Lithuanian academic community are participating in the discussion.

The discussion will aim to learn more about what lies behind the support of some countries, especially the PAR, in Russia's war with Ukraine. Guests from Africa will present historical, geopolitical, economic, and other factors, discuss public support or not, reaction to EU sanctions against Russia, and Russian measures, aiming of subduing the states of the region or maintaining their influence in the zone. The participants will discuss the differences and parallels with the Baltic countries, Lithuanian diplomats will share their insights looking from the perspectives of diplomatic work in the PAR and the region.

The event is open and intended for all those interested in Sub-Saharan Africa, international politics, the Russian-Ukrainian war, and academic cooperation between Lithuania and the South Africa Republic.

Moderator and initiator of the discussion Giedrė Biržytė. Giedrė is a lecturer at Vilnius University, Institute of Political Science and International Relations and an expert at Central Project Management Agency of Lithuania.

Speakers: Steven Gruzd is The Head of the Africa-Russia Project at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) in Johannesburg.

Ray Hartley is the Research Director of the Brenthurst Foundation and previously – an editor of several prominent South African newspapers and online publications, including the Sunday Times, The Times, Rand Daily Mail and BusinessLIVE.

Lukas Ivanauskas is a PhD student of political philosophy at Vilnius University and a policy analyst at the Baltic non-profit research and partnership centre AfriKo.

Dainius Junevičius is an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Lithuania to the Republic of South Africa.

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