Is this Putin’s biggest fan? Guinean diplomat wears shirt decorated with Russian warmonger’s face at St Petersburg summit
- Lama Jacques Sevoba works in Guinea’s embassy in Moscow as a diplomat
- He said he wore the bold shirt because he loves the Russian leader ‘very much’
A Guinean diplomat made a very unusual fashion choice as he attended the Russia-Africa summit in St Petersburg this week – opting for a shirt decorated with Vladimir Putin’s face.
The man, who was named in Russian media as Lama Jacques Sevoba, works in Guinea’s embassy in Moscow.
His bold shirt had the Russian warmonger’s face plastered all over it alongside drawings of diamonds, in an apparent pledge of loyalty to Putin, who he said he ‘loves very much’.
He also wore a field service cap with the Communist hammer and sickle.
Mr Sevoba told the Telegram channel DD Geopolitics: ‘I’ve had it for three years already because I love him very much, so I wear it any time, in any place.
Guinean diplomat Lama Jacques Sevoba showed his love for Vladimir Putin at the Russia-Africa summit this week by wearing a shirt plastered with the Russian warmonger’s face
Putin has been attempting to win support for his war against Ukraine among African leaders (pictured on Friday)
‘And today it’s to show my people that Russia and Africa will be even bigger friends than before.’
Putin has been attempting to win support for his war against Ukraine in the Russia-Africa summit this week.
READ MORE: Fresh humiliation for Putin as he faces poor turnout by African leaders at key Russian summit – days after he quit grain deal
He pledged large no-cost shipments of grain to six African nations, although Guinea was not included.
The promise follows the scrapping of the Black Sea grain deal with Ukraine, which allowed exports to some of the world’s poorest countries.
‘Our country will continue supporting needy states and regions, in particular, with its humanitarian deliveries. We seek to actively participate in building a fairer system of distribution of resources. We are taking maximum efforts to avert a global food crisis,’ Putin said.
‘I have already said that our country can replace Ukrainian grain, both on a commercial basis and as grant aid to the neediest African countries, more so since we expect another record harvest this year,’ he said.
Russia intends to ship up to 50,000 tons of grain aid to Burkina Faso, Zimbabwe, Mali, Somalia, Eritrea and Central African Republic in the next three to four months, Putin said.
However, Putin also faced humiliation at the summit, which took place on Thursday and Friday in St Petersburg, due to a poor turnout from African leaders.
Putin also faced humiliation at the summit, which took place on Thursday and Friday in St Petersburg, due to a poor turnout from African leaders
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and President of the Republic of Burundi Evariste Ndayishimiye meet on the sidelines of the Russia Africa Summit
Only 17 heads of state took part, fewer than half of the 43 who attended the first in 2019, while 32 other African countries were represented by senior government officials or ambassadors.
The event came after Russia destroyed Ukrainian grain warehouses on the Danube River in a drone attack on Monday, targeting a vital export route for Kyiv in an expanding air campaign that Moscow began last week after quitting the Black Sea grain deal.
The presidents of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo were among those not attending the summit.
Kenya’s president, who was also a no-show, called the disruption to global grain supplies ‘a stab in the back’ for the Horn of Africa, where millions are under threat of starvation.
Both Russia and China have been looking to increase their influence in Africa.
China has purchased infrastructure on the continent for access to rare minerals.
Russia has extended its influence in Africa with military deals, at times in return for mineral assets.
Putin billed the two-day summit as a major event that would help bolster ties with a continent of 1.3 billion people that is increasingly assertive on the global stage.
People watch a TV screen broadcasting Russian President Vladimir Putin addressing the plenary session
Putin, right, and Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the summit
Putin, right, and the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, Mohamed Yunus Bashir Buhwaish al-Menfi, shake hands
Africa’s 54 nations make up the largest voting bloc at the United Nations and have been more divided than any other region on General Assembly resolutions criticising Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
‘Today, Africa is asserting itself more and more confidently as one of the poles of the emerging multipolar world,’ Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin.
‘The forum will provide a further boost to our political and humanitarian partnership for many years to come. It will serve as a crucial event for Russian-African relations, making them even more comprehensive and far-reaching.’
Meanwhile Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin also looked to have made a surprise appearance at the summit, mere weeks after his group of mercenaries aborted a rebellion against the Russian defence ministry.
Prigozhin, 62, was pictured alongside a man believed to be a member of the Central African Republic’s delegation to the summit.
They were seen smiling together and shaking hands at the bottom of an ornate staircase, in an image circulated on the Telegram messaging app.
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