What Happened: Russian oil giant Rosneft has signed memorandums of understanding with Mozambique's state-owned Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos and the country's National Petroleum Institute to cooperate on the development of offshore natural gas fields, Tass reported Aug. 22. In addition, Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi announced that Moscow had agreed to forgive 95 percent of Mozambique's debt to Russia.
Why It Matters: The agreements are a sign of growing Russian involvement in Africa as Moscow is looking to diversify its global relations and increase its influence in several regions, including Sub-Saharan Africa.
Background: Russia agreed to send military advisers to Mozambique in 2018, the same year Rosneft signed a concession contract for offshore oil fields. According to Nyusi, bilateral trade between the two countries increased by 25 percent between 2017 and 2018.
- Russia's Plan for Making Friends in Africa (June 15, 2019)
- Russia Goes on a Global Search for Opportunity (March 5, 2019)
- Russia, Congo: Why Moscow Is Backing the Results of a Flawed Election (Jan. 22, 2019)