Russian diplomat: West jealous about Russian clout in Africa

MOSCOW (AP) — A senior Russian diplomat says the West has been "jealous" about Russia's growing clout in the Central African Republic.

Andrei Kemarskiy, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's African department, told the state RIA Novosti news agency in an interview published Tuesday that Russia has sought to help find a political settlement in the Central African republic and strengthen its military.

He also noted that the growing Russian role in the country has caused "concern and jealousy" in France and other Western countries that traditionally had influence there.

Kemarskiy said Moscow is also expanding military contacts with other African countries and that Russia may consider pooling efforts with China, which has expanded its influence in Africa.