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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi will meet in Moscow on Thursday.
Russia and Mozambique traditionally maintain a friendly relationship, dating back to Mozambique’s struggle against Portuguese colonialism (1964-1975). Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established on June 25, 1975, on the day Mozambique declared its independence.
The Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of Mozambique was signed in 1977.
Russian-Mozambican relations are defined by a high level of partnership on international platforms, which is based on close or shared positions regarding most global matters.
On July 27, 2018, Putin held a brief conversation with Nyusi on the sidelines of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) summit in South Africa’s Johannesburg.
In July 2014, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and then-Mozambican Prime Minister Alberto Vaquina met in Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited the Republic of Mozambique in February 2013 and March 2018. During the visits, Lavrov was received by Vaquina and Nyusi, respectively.
Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Republic of Mozambique visited Russia in April 2014 and May 2018.
In June 2015, Russian Special Presidential Representative for the middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov met with Nyusi on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Johannesburg.
In February 2016, a delegation of the Council of the Federation headed by the Deputy Chairman of the council, Ilyas Umakhanov, paid a visit to Mozambique’s capital of Maputo. As a part of the visit, the delegation met with Nyusi, the President of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique, Veronica Macamo Dlovo, and others.
In September 2017, a delegation of representatives of the United Russia party and the Communist Party of the Russian Federation visited Mozambique to participate in the 11th congress of the ruling Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO).
A delegation of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique visited Moscow in March 2019.
The two countries currently maintain trade and economic relations. The Russian-Mozambique intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation was established in March 2018. Its first meeting was held in Maputo in April 2018.
In 2018, Russia’s trade with Mozambique amounted to $114.8 million, showing an increase of 24 percent when compared to 2017. Russian exports totaled $95.4 million, while imports reached $19.4 million.
In the first six months of 2019, trade between the two countries amounted to $32.2 million. Russia exported $18.7 million worth of goods, while imports from Mozambique reached a value of $13.5 million.
Exports to Mozambique mostly involve food and agricultural commodities such as cereals, chemical products like fertilizers, and mineral products, which include mineral fuel, oil, and products of their distillation.
Imports from the republic consist mainly of food and agricultural commodities like tobacco, fruits, and nuts.
The two countries continue to implement several joint projects. In 2015, the Russian oil and gas company Rosneft and US energy giant ExxonMobil received licenses for the development of three gas-rich deepwater blocks off the coast of Mozambique. The state-owned Qatar Petroleum company and Italy’s Eni oil and gas company later joined the project.
In October 2018, the companies signed concession contracts for hydrocarbon exploration and production with the government of Mozambique. Rosneft’s share in the projects is 20 percent.
In July 2019, a mining and processing complex was launched in the city of Pebane, a province of Zambezia, for the exploitation, Primary treatment, and export of titanium and zirconium products from Tazetta Resources, which is part of the East Minerals international holding, controlled by a number of Russian investors.
The top areas for mutually beneficial cooperation include the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, the iron and steel industry, petrochemicals, agriculture, fisheries, energy, and infrastructure projects.
An agreement on military and technical cooperation providing for the supply of weapons and military equipment, the repair of military products and other activities went into effect in January 2017.
In April 2018, negotiations between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Maj. Gen. Atanasio Salvador M’tumuke, Mozambique’s defense minister, took place in Moscow. An intergovernmental agreement on the simplified procedure for calls of Russian warships to the ports of Mozambique and a memorandum on cooperation in the naval area between the defense ministries of the two countries were signed following the meeting.
Russia’s large anti-submarine ship, Severomorsk, made a business call at the port of Pemba in Mozambique in October 2018.
In 1999, Russia decided to write off 90 percent of Mozambique’s debt. In 2013, an intergovernmental agreement was signed on the use of the outstanding debt, which was then estimated to be at $144 million, to finance projects related to Mozambique’s development.
In November 2017, Russia allocated $40 million for a school feeding program in Mozambique as part of an innovative plan for using the debt.
In April 2019, Russia delivered 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Mozambique’s Beira, the city most affected by Cyclone Idai, which caused unprecedented flooding and massive infrastructural damage throughout southeast Africa.
The established tradition of Mozambicans receiving higher education in Russia enhances the relationship between the two countries. Today, more than 100 Mozambique citizens are studying at Russian universities on a contractual and budgetary basis.
The intergovernmental agreement on visa-free travel for the citizens of both countries with diplomatic and service passports came into effect in 2009. Russian citizens with these passports can stay in Mozambique without visas for 90 days, while holders of ordinary foreign-travel passports are given tourist visas at border points that are valid for up to 30 days.
Source: Urdu Point / VESTI News