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Russian relations

Russia continues to court support in Africa, and Mozambique is keen to use its leverage with the country — without, at the same time, alienating its Western allies

Today’s front pages in Maputo. Photo credit: Faizal Chauque / Zitamar News

Good afternoon. Mozambique's stance on the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been a source of considerable interest, including in the pages of Zitamar News. Today, we are able to publish a thorough analysis of Mozambique's stance towards Russia, written by Zitamar's Editor at Large, Fernando Lima, for Cabo Ligado.

Understanding current Mozambique-Russia relations
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, Mozambique has continued to engage Russia, as the balance of power in the relationship has shifted

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As is frequently pointed out, Russia - or the Soviet Union - was an ally of Mozambique in the years immediately following independence, when Mozambique was under existential threat from its neighbours Rhodesia and South Africa. What is less well known is that that relationship soured after the end of the Cold War, when Russia demanded repayment for the military aid it had provided. It was only under the Nyusi presidency that that debt was cleared — mostly forgiven on condition it was considered aid, and used in humanitarian projects in Mozambique with Russian involvement.

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