Russia on Thursday reopened its embassy in Burkina Faso after a gap of nearly 32 years after the West African nation fell out with former colonial ruler France.
The Burkinabe foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that “Russia formally reopened its embassy this Thursday in Ouagadougou.”
Russia’s ambassador to Ivory Coast, Alexei Saltykov, said he would head the mission in Burkina Faso until the new ambassador is named and described Burkina Faso as “an old partner with whom we have solid and friendly ties.
“Despite our physical absence here, bilateral cooperation in the political and economic fields have never ceased,” he said.
Burkina Faso suffered two military coups last year — both triggered in part by discontent at failures to stem a raging jihadist insurgency.
Since coming to power in September 2022, the ruling junta has distanced itself from France, its historic partner, and moved closer to Russia.
Moscow has pledged to deliver free grain to the African country, which is one of the world’s poorest.
Russia has grown more isolated since its Ukraine offensive and has in recent months discussed greater military cooperation with Burkina Faso.
In October, Burkina Faso signed a deal with Russia for the construction of a nuclear power plant to increase the energy supply to the Sahel country where less than a quarter of the population has access to electricity.