Russia reopens embassy in Burkina Faso
Russia reopened its embassy in Burkina Faso, which it had closed in 1992, thus continuing a rapprochement with this Sahelian country led by a military system since last year, and which seeks to diversify its partners since its break with France.
“Today we are
attending the ceremony for the resumption of activities of the Russian embassy
in Ouagadougou,” declared the Russian ambassador to Côte d'Ivoire accredited to
Burkina Faso, Alexeï Saltykov, during the reopening of the chancellery.
The Russian diplomat
who until now resided in Abidjan but who has made regular trips to Ouagadougou
in recent months, added that he would initially lead the diplomatic mission in
Burkina until the appointment of an ambassador by Russian President Vladimir
The Burkina Faso
embassy in Russia was reopened in 2013, after closing in 1996.
For his part, the
head of Burkinabe diplomacy, Karamoko Jean-Marie Traoré, assured during the
ceremony that the closure of the Russian embassy 31 years ago had not put an
end to " cooperation" between the two countries, which notably
includes “the training of several of our executives”.
added that "Russia will continue to assist Burkina Faso for the training
of specialists, national, civil and military executives".
"25,000 tons of wheat" representing "humanitarian aid from
Russia" are "being transported to Burkina Faso", indicated Saltykov.
Russian President Vladimir
Putin announced during the Saint Petersburg summit in July that Moscow would
deliver cereals free of charge to six African countries, including Burkina
Faso, in the coming months.
For its part, the
Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday welcomed the “development” of relations
with Burkina Faso.
The reopening of the
Russian embassy will help “increase coordination in terms of foreign policy”
and consolidate the “relations of friendship and cooperation” uniting these two
countries, the ministry writes in a press release.
Since the coup
d'état which brought Captain Ibrahim Traoré to power in September 2022, Burkina
Faso has severed its relations with France and is seeking to diversify its
obtained the departure of French troops from its soil at the start of the year,
before moving closer to Russia.
An agreement was
signed by the two countries in mid-October for the construction of a Russian
nuclear power plant in Burkina, where less than a quarter of the population has
access to electricity.
A few weeks after
the last military takeover, Burkina granted the operating permit for a new gold
mine to the Russian company Nordgold, which already exploited three deposits in
the north of the country.
Burkina, where gold
constitutes the main mineral resource, has been facing deadly and recurring extremist
violence for several years over a large part of its territory, which has left
more than 17,000 dead and more than two million internally displaced.