Russia reopened its embassy in Burkina Faso on Thursday after over a 31-year hiatus, indicating the former French colony’s major shift in policies following the Sept. 2022 coup and subsequent diplomatic strain with Paris.
“Russia formally reopened its embassy this Thursday in Ouagadougou,” the Foreign Ministry of the landlocked Western African nation said in a statement issued following a ceremony.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1967, but Russia closed its embassy in 1992, and Burkina Faso followed suit in 1996 by closing its mission in Moscow.
The Russian embassy was then relocated from Ouagadougou to Abidjan in Ivory Coast, a neighboring country in the West African sub-region.
The Russian diplomatic mission was inaugurated at the ceremony, which was attended by Burkina Faso Prime Minister Apollinaire Joachim Kyelem de Tambela, Foreign Minister Karamoko Jean Marie Traore, other government officials, and Russian Ambassador to Ivory Coast Alexei Saltikov, who praised the friendly nature of the two countries’ inter-state relations.
“These relations are traditionally based on the principles of trust and mutual respect,” Saltikov was quoted as saying in a ministry statement.
The resumption of these ties “is a strong signal of the excellence of bilateral relations between the two States, and also reflects the solidity of the bonds of friendship that unite the Russian and Burkinabe peoples,” according to the statement.
It sees the resumption as a watershed moment in Russian-Burkinabe cooperation, completing a cycle of rapprochement between the two countries and ushering in a new era of cooperation for the benefit of their respective peoples, it added.
The Russian diplomat also announced that an ambassador to Ouagadougou will be appointed soon.
Russia will send 25,000 tons of wheat to Burkina Faso as emergency humanitarian aid, the Russian ambassador pledged, adding that Moscow will continue to assist this African country dealing with terrorism by providing security and military training.
Despite the closure 31 years ago, it “has never ceased in the political and economic fields,” Burkina Faso Prime Minister de Tambela told local media.
Cooperation between the two countries will provide more development opportunities and will serve as a catalyst for fruitful partnerships, Foreign Minister Traore said on the occasion.