In particular, Russia might reach an agreement with its trusted Chinese global partner
to protect the Silk Roads – especially those in Africa – in exchange
for lucrative commercial contracts along it, which could in many cases
result in energy or mining deals that eventually lead to a further and
more robust Russian presence in the continent. Moscow, after all, would
be fulfilling a vital function for Beijing by “informally” flexing its
military muscles in the most Hybrid War-prone part of the world.
It might sound condescending that Russia would work through China in
clinching African deals instead of the host states themselves, but it’s
already the case that Beijing controls a sizeable amount of the
continent’s extractive industries and is therefore the most logical
actor for Moscow to engage with on this front.
Even so, Russia doesn’t want to be China’s “junior partner” in Africa
forever, especially since it’s prospectively slated to assume a
disproportionately important role in protecting its global paradigm-changing New Silk Road assets,
which is why Moscow will probably roll out a comprehensive
“mercenary”-led policy there in the near future following the expected
legalization of the PMC industry. To explain, Russia is regarded as the
most “neutral” Great Power interested in Africa, and to that end its
“mercenary” services would already be in high demand in principle, not
even accounting for the battle-tested value that its former servicemen
could provide to any client.