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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni walk during their meeting in Entebbe.

REUTERS/Isaac Kasamani

Russia and the West battle it out in Africa

Russia’s brutal military offensive may be taking place in Europe, but the battle to shore up support for its cause is now playing out in … Africa.

Russia’s top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, is currently on a tour to reassure African allies of Moscow’s commitment to alleviating the global food crisis.

But Lavrov is not to be outdone by French President Emmanuel Macron, who is also on a three-nation tour in Central and West Africa. Washington, meanwhile, has sent an envoy to Ethiopia and Egypt.

Russia, the EU, and US have long tried to court developing countries in bids to expand their respective spheres of influence. But as war rages on in Europe, why the intense focus on Africa now?

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Protesters rally agains the constitutional referendum in Tunis.

Mahjoub Yassine/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We're Watching: Tunisian referendum, Lavrov on African tour

Tunisia holds constitutional referendum

Tunisians go to the polls Monday to vote in a referendum over the new constitution pushed by President Kais Saied. The vote is scheduled on the first anniversary of Saied sacking the government and suspending parliament in the only country that emerged a democracy from the Arab Spring. At the time, he justified the move as necessary to prevent a bigger crisis, but his opponents called it a coup; since then, Saied has consolidated power by taking it away from any institution or group that challenged him, including judges and trade unions. The president's growing dictator vibes have upset many Tunisians who initially supported him, but he still has fans among younger people tired of corruption and dysfunctional parliamentary politics. Most opposition groups have boycotted the plebiscite, so the "yes" vote is likely to win (albeit with a low turnout). If the new charter is approved, Saied promises to hold legislative elections within six months. But they'll be less decisive under the revised constitution, which vastly expands presidential power at the expense of parliament and the judiciary.

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Russia-NATO Confrontation Is Coming | Quick Take | GZERO Media

Russia-NATO confrontation is coming: Putin will escalate

There’s not an off-ramp in sight, and that’s a problem. More than 60 days into the conflict in Ukraine, Ian Bremmer believes the chances for a negotiated settlement are looking slim.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and your Quick Take. And got to talk about Russia-Ukraine.

We are 62 days now into this war and on pretty much every front, we continue to see international relations deteriorate. You kind of hope that there would be some kind of off-rampin terms of a negotiated settlement, in terms of freezing the conflict, but it really doesn't look that way at all. Some of that's good news. Some of that is the Ukrainian government being able to really inspire the advanced industrial democracies around the world to win the information war against the Russians. As a consequence, getting an enormous amount of support and holding off the Russians. Certainly, Zelensky in much stronger position today than he ever was since he's been elected president and his regime is not about to be overthrown.

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