Poland’s president combats Russian narrative during tour of West Africa

Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Nigeria, Ivory Coast, and Senegal concentrated on countering the Russian narrative regarding the war in Ukraine, according to international relations expert Prof. Andrzej Polus

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Jacek Gądek

Last week’s visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda to West Africa was in part an attempt by the West to try to get its message across in a region of the world that has been highly susceptible to Russia’s messaging on the war, according to Professor Andrzej Polus from the Institute of International Relations at Wrocław University

In an interview with Gazeta.pl, Polus said it was also an attempt by Poland to use its freshly gained soft power.

He noted that Duda visited countries which have not been visited by the French or American statesmen, and helped to counter Russian claims that the West has been responsible for blocking the flow of grain disrupted by the war in Ukraine. 

The academic claimed that although Poland cannot play in the same league as Britain or China, it can and should be able to match powers such as Turkey and Brazil in that part of the world. This is possible, argued Prof. Polus, because it is free of a colonial past and has a pre-1989 record of cooperation with sub-Saharan states. Poland, however, must make up the time wasted due to the liberal former Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski’s decision to close several embassies in Africa. He was pleased to see that this “diplomatic catastrophe” was now being reversed and some embassies in Africa were reopening once more.

In economic terms, Prof. Polus sees Poland as being a purchaser of Nigerian oil and gas, and an exporter of food. He believes that Nigeria has potential to increase production of gas by developing LNG capacity. Senegal is another country which has potential for extracting gas. Poland can also access gas projects being developed in Eastern Africa in countries such as Tanzania and Mozambique. 

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