Russia’s ambassador to Mozambique said last week that his country wanted to use the ruble and metical to maintain trade transactions with the African country in the face of sanctions it faces internationally.
“The ruble and the metical are worthy currencies that can be used and do not require the benevolence of some other countries that control the international system,” said the Russian ambassador to Mozambique, Alexander Surikov, after a meeting with the CTA – Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique in Maputo.
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According to the diplomat, Russia is willing to strengthen cooperation with Mozambique and, using the two countries’ currencies, it is possible to boost the partnership, ensuring that Mozambique achieves results in its efforts towards industrialisation.
“Russia is open to support Mozambique, both concerning cereals, fertilisers or machinery that can strengthen its industrialisation,” the diplomat added.
Alexander Surikov recalled that Russia and Mozambique had scheduled an intergovernmental meeting in Moscow in the coming months, discussing aspects of bilateral cooperation.
“These issues will be discussed in this joint commission. We are just waiting for Mozambique’s response regarding dates,” said the diplomat, who sees the country as a reliable partner in Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its presence on the African continent.
Mozambique was among the countries that abstained on two resolutions that went to a vote at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly: one condemning Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine due to the war and the other suspending Moscow from the Human Rights Council.
The Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo, the ruling party since independence) was an ally of Moscow during the time of the former USSR, receiving military support during the struggle against Portuguese colonialism and economic aid after independence in 1975.
According to data from the CTA, the annual economic transactions between Mozambique and Russia was estimated to be at least 100 million dollars (€98.5 million at the current exchange rate).
On 24 February, Russia launched a military offensive in Ukraine that has killed more than 5,000 civilians, according to the UN, which warns that the actual number is likely to be much higher.
According to the latest UN figures, the Russian military offensive has caused more than 16 million people to flee, including more than 5.7 million out of the country.
Also, according to the UN, 15.7 million people need humanitarian assistance in Ukraine.
The international community condemned the Russian invasion, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions against Moscow.