War-time relations

‘In Africa, Russia uses lies as a weapon of war’ – European Council’s Charles Michel

By Romain Gras, Manon Laplace

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Posted on July 19, 2022 10:20

Screenshot 2022-07-19 at 11.10.35 Charles Michel, president of the European Council, on 31 May 2022 in Brussels (Belgium). © Zheng Huansong/XINHUA-REA.
Charles Michel, president of the European Council, on 31 May 2022 in Brussels (Belgium). © Zheng Huansong/XINHUA-REA.

Charles Michel, president of the European Council, speaks about how the war in Ukraine is impacting relations between the two continents.

On 18 February, the African Union (AU) and European Union (EU) concluded the sixth edition of their joint summit in Brussels. The main topics discussed included establishing a free trade zone, fighting against Covid-19, insecurity and the Global Gateway initiative.

But a week later, more than 2,000km from the Belgian capital, the launch of a Russian offensive in Ukraine upset the diplomatic context. Charles Michel, president of the European Council, opened the next AU summit meeting, which started on 17 July in Lusaka (Zambia).

The EU, which has been shaken by the rise of Russian influence on the continent, is now facing the consequences of the war in Ukraine on the African continent. The 46-year-old diplomat and former Belgian prime minister spoke to us about this new diplomatic situation and its repercussions.

You gave a speech on 17 July at the opening of the African Union summit in

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