Russia is preparing to launch its first Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi on Oct. 24. President Vladimir Putin and the summit co-host, Egyptian leader and African Union Chairman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, invited all of the African heads of state along with the leaders of major subregional associations and organizations. Russia almost certainly will advertise the summit as an emblem of its triumphant return to center stage in Africa.
Russia and Eastern Europe
Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for rebel forces in Eastern Ukraine have precipitated a dramatic fracture in relations between between Russia and the West. In response, a broad Western economic sanctions regime has bitten into the Russian economy, and the United States has sought to shore up support among Eastern European and Baltic states. The annexation and response represent a major test-case for international governance, principles of sovereignty and the reliability of the American security umbrella, particularly NATO.