Togo, faced with increasingly frequent attacks by jihadists from the Sahel, wants to speed up acquisition of military equipment for its army. Faure Gnassingbé's government has turned to Moscow, purchasing attack helicopters, and is also getting help from Washington and London, much to France's chagrin.
Although the Beninese army recently acquired two French-made H 125 helicopters, it has also been negotiating the purchase of transport aircraft from Russian Helicopters in a drive to beef up its operations against armed groups in the north.
In the midst of its invasion of Ukraine, Moscow is seeking to strengthen its ties with a number of African nations. The visit of the Togolese foreign minister to Moscow from 21 February is part of this drive.
In the coming days the South African Revenue Service (SARS) is due to launch an inquiry to ascertain what military equipment was delivered in early December to Simon's Town by the Russian ship Lady R.
After success in Niger, Turkey's "drone diplomacy" is continuing to work its magic in West Africa: a few weeks ago, the Togolese army took delivery of a consignment of Bayraktar TB2 combat drones to protect its northern border against incursions by armed groups from Burkina Faso.
Faced with a jihadist threat on Chad's northern border and with troops engaged in peacekeeping operations in Mali, Togo's head of state has spearheaded a major shakeup of the army and defence ministry's leadership to prepare for challenges ahead.
In late April, Togolese Foreign Minister Robert Dussey received Russia's non-resident ambassador, Igor Evdokimov, in Lomé to work on strengthening cooperation between the two countries.