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Russia’s relationship with Angola in the spotlight again as Lavrov visits Luanda

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Russia’s relationship with Angola in the spotlight again as Lavrov visits Luanda

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Photo: Russian Embassy RSA

 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov hosts his Angolan counterpart, Manuel Domingos Augusto, today in Moscow.

It comes on the back of wide-ranging economic and military cooperation agreements signed in April between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Angola’s President Joao Lourenco.

Particularly of interest are Angola’s Catoca diamond mines, of which Russian mining giant Alrosa holds a 32.8% share. Together with its Russian diamond mines, Alrosa mines over half the world’s diamond reserves.

Mr Lavrov’s visit is a testament to the high-level priority Moscow is giving sub-Saharan Africa as part of a continent-wide strategy.

In recent years, Mr Putin has sought to rekindle close Soviet-era relations with Africa by carving out Russian spheres of influence throughout the continent. Angola, for example, is a key part of the inaugural Russia-Africa summit to be hosted in Sochi on October 22, designed to counter traditional Western influence in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Expect increasing Russian regional influence in the near-term as Alrosa makes Angola a key part of its international supply chain. Russia’s stake in Angola’s mines can be seen as a growing counterweight to the 100-year presence of Western companies, like Anglo-American Group, in the region.

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