After several decades of expanding involvement and influence in Africa which focused on Lybia, Algeria and several Marxist regimes in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Soviet Union disengaged from the continent in the late 1980s as part of the global retrenchment associated with Gorbachev's domestic economic reforms and "new thinking" in foreign and security policy. As part of that process, the Soviet Union played an active role in the negotiations that resulted in peace agreements in Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia. After the collapse of the Soviet state, Russia continued its retreat from Africa, closing embassies in a number of states and eliminating almost all military and economic support for former partners and clients. However, by 1994, as part of a major reorientation of its foreign policy, Moscow began to reassess the implications of this withdrawal and announced its interest in reestablishing ties with the countries of the continent, ties that focus on mutually beneficial economic relations. However, the poor financial situation of many African states will likely impede the implementation of Russia's plans for expanded economic involvement. Moreover, Russian political involvement is likely to remain limited, given the centrality of Russia's political and economic problems at home and in the "near abroad".
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations