Occasional Paper

Russia and Angola: The Rebirth of a Strategic Partnership?

“Africa and Russia in general, and Angola and Russia in particular, have a long-standing
friendship dating back to the days when the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
was assisting African national liberation movements in gaining independence. The USSR
forged a strategic alliance with the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola, which
remains to this day the ruling party in Angola, led by the same head figure. Although the friendship survived the fall of the USSR in 1991 and the most devastating phase of Angola’s civil war, the nature of the relationship changed dramatically under Russia.The paper offers a comprehensive analysis of contemporary Russia–Angola relations across various dimensions – foreign policy, diplomatic ties, co-operation, trade and investment, and civil-society links – in a bid to identify synergies and challenges in the partnership and ways to address them. The authors argue that both Angola and Russia
need to be more strategic in aligning their interests, and more proactive in carving out
efficient bilateral instruments and mechanisms in order to promote economic exchanges and reap the benefits of a fully-fledged partnership.”