Cameroonian Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo has signed a military cooperation agreement in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Choigou, as Wagner mercenaries are boosting Russia’s influence in West Africa. The agreement was signed on April 12 but revealed on Thursday this week.

According to security sources, this agreement is part of the continuation of a military tie between the two countries for several years, with the emphasis recently on the revision of the military deal signed in 2015.

“On the instructions of Cameroon’s Head of State Paul Biya and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Joseph Beti Assomo and his Russian counterpart, General Sergei Shoogou, inked the documents that define this new military cooperation.

In the 13 page document, the two countries agree to exchange opinions and information on defence policies and international security, development of relations in the areas of joint training, medicine, topography or military hydrography.

They also agree to exchange experiences, and interaction in peace support operations under the aegis of the United Nations. The symbolic deal established in Moscow, comes as several countries around the world, withdraw ties with Kremlin, to impose sanctions.

During the UN General Assembly vote in February calling for the Russian withdrawal from Ukraine, Cameroon was absent, and for the second vote, it abstained.

Meanwhile, price hikes push staple foodstuffs beyond the reach of many in Cameroon’s Anglophone region and the government has designated the region an economic disaster zone.