Russia reopens embassy in Burkina Faso closed in 1992

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia on Thursday reopened its embassy in Burkina Faso after a gap of nearly 32 years, the West African nation’s government and a Russian diplomat said.

The mission was closed in 1992. The Russian ambassador to Ivory Coast, Alexei Saltykov, said Russian President Vladimir Putin would name the new envoy.

The Burkinabe foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that “Russia formally reopened its embassy this Thursday in Ouagadougou.”

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.”

Burkina Faso last year experienced two military coups – 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 former colonial power, and moved closer to Russia.

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.