Moscow wants to bring the process of decolonizing the islands, which are under the control of France and Britain, to a “fair conclusion”. It is about Mayotte Island and Chagos Island.
This was said by the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergei Lavrov in his speech to the State Duma on 15 February.
The head of Russian diplomacy claims that victory in World War II gave impetus to the “liberation of colonial countries and peoples”
He believes that Russia played a crucial role in this by providing free support.
“Today we stand in solidarity behind the demands to bring the decolonization process to a fair conclusion,” Lavrov said.
According to the head of the Foreign Ministry, France still retains its sovereignty and control over the island of Mayotte, which has been annexed to the Comoros. And Britain, for its part, controls the Chagos archipelago, which is claimed by Mauritius.
At the same time, Lavrov promised that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation would support the initiative for an international forum of “supporters of the struggle against modern practises of neocolonialism”.
The Chagos Islands
The Chagos Islands are a group of seven atolls with more than 60 islands in the Indian Ocean. The islands were ceded by France to Great Britain and incorporated into the colony of Mauritius in 1814.
The Chagos Islands were inhabited by the indigenous Chagossians, a Bourbonnais Creole-speaking people, until the United Kingdom expelled them from the archipelago at the request of the USA between 1967 and 1973 so that the USA could establish a military base on Diego Garcia.
Mauritius gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1968, and has since claimed the Chagos Archipelago as Mauritian territory.
In 2019, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) issued a non-binding advisory opinion stating that the UK “…has an obligation to bring to an end its administration of the Chagos Archipelago as rapidly as possible, and that all Member States must co-operate with the United Nations to complete the decolonization of Mauritius”
The island of Mayotte
The island of Mayotte, which was part of the Comoros, officially became a French colony in June 1843. Three years later, slavery was abolished there. Between 1912 and 1946, three islands of the archipelago were added to Madagascar.
In 1946, the Comoros archipelago was granted the status of an overseas territory, whereupon the Comoros Territorial Assembly was established, with representatives from all four islands.
In 1974, however, a referendum was held on the archipelago, as a result of which the population of the three islands voted for independence. More than 63% of the inhabitants of Mayotte voted to remain part of France.