Cooperation with South Africa

Today’s diplomatic relations between the countries date back to February 28, 1992

Trade and economic relations between the countries started soon after WW2. Back then the goods turnover peaked in 1957. From 1958 after South Africa had severed consular relations, trade between the countries started withering. After the UN General Assembly recommended in 1962 to boycott trade with South Africa, almost all business ties between Soviet and South African organizations crumbled. Today’s diplomatic relations between the countries date back to February 28, 1992. It is that very year President Frederik Willem de Klerk of South Africa visited Russia.

On October 22, 1993, Russia and South Africa signed a Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement. It stipulates mutually favorable conditions in trade, protection of investments and creation of favorable conditions for them, free transit of goods of one country in the territory of the other, as well as establishment of a Mixed Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation.

In 1993, the partners entered a Military and Technical Cooperation Agreement.

During South African President Nelson Mandela's official visit to Moscow in April 1999 the Russian-South African Mixed Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation held its inaugural session to sign a range of agreements.

A very important event in bilateral relations was the official visit of President Vladimir Putin of Russia to South Africa on September 5-6, 2006 that resulted in the partners signing a Treaty of Friendship and Partnership and a number of government-to-government agreements.

In September 2006, Russia and South Africa established a Business Council under the auspices of their respective Chambers of Commerce and Industry. South Africa is a member of the BRICS.

The partners maintain contacts across many levels, including the Parliaments, ministries and agencies. There is another mechanism that Russia and South Africa take advantage of in their relations, namely the Joint Commission on Military and Technical Cooperation.

Russia assists South Africa's Denel Aviation in setting up a center for maintenance of Soviet and Russian civilian helicopters.

In the military and technical line of cooperation with Russia, South Africa is interested in acquisition of military equipment for its Armed Forces and sending its officers and specialists to Russia for training.

Rosoboronexport is a regular participant of Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD), a biennial international exhibition that has been held in South Africa since 1992.

South Africa hosts a representative office of Rostec, Russia’s state corporation, that also projects Rosoboronexport’s interests in the country. 

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