OREANDA-NEWS Russian entrepreneurs may visit Mali next week to discuss the implementation of business projects in the country, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"Starting next week, a number of Russian partners will arrive in Mali," the minister said. He added that this is not the first time Russian businessmen have visited Mali. "Delegations from Russia regularly come to Mali," he said.

Earlier in January, Mali announced its decision to withdraw from the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS). The decision was also announced by the authorities of Niger and Burkina Faso. According to representatives of these States, the community has become a threat to the participating countries. It was also noted that the regional bloc had imposed "illegal, illegitimate, inhuman and irresponsible sanctions" against the three countries. ECOWAS has stated that it is committed to finding a negotiated solution.

In September 2023, the leaders of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger signed a charter establishing an Alliance of Sahel States to "create an architecture of collective defense." According to it, encroachment on the sovereignty or territorial integrity of one or more parties will be regarded as aggression against other parties and will require the assistance of all participants, including their use of military force.