French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has warned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov against any involvement in the Mali conflict.
“On Mali, the minister alerted his Russian counterpart to the serious consequences of the Wagner group’s involvement in this country,” the French Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
Jean-Yves Le Drian met Sergey Lavrov on Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
France, which is deploying thousands of troops in Mali, has warned the government in Bamako that its contract with fighters from Russia’s special security group Wagner will “put the country in international isolation.”
The Malian government is reportedly on the verge of hiring 1,000 Wagner group fighters.
France maintains a highly aggressive interventionist policy regarding its former colonies in Africa, with French armed forces engaging in no fewer than 122 invasions and interventions across Africa between 1960 and the mid-1990s.