Mozambican government admits buying Russian oil in rubles - Plataforma Media

Mozambican government admits buying Russian oil in rubles

Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy today admitted the possibility of the African country buying Russian oil in rubles, if that option is feasible, after Moscow presented Maputo with availability for that mechanism.

“I am sure that we will study and verify the feasibility of this offer [from Russia], if there is feasibility, for sure [Russian oil] will be purchased” in rubles, Carlos Zacarias said.

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Zacarias was speaking to the media today, on the sidelines of the seventh coordinating council of the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, which is being held in Gaza province, southern Mozambique. The minister pointed out that Mozambique’s receptivity to the Russian proposal stems from the fact that the world is going through a “peculiar moment”, characterized by a great volatility of crude prices in the international market, due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

In this sense, continued Carlos Zacarias, the Mozambican authorities’ approach in relation to the price of oil will be determined by the behavior of the international market. Zacarias denied anticipating a possible next increase in fuel prices, given the several increases that have already occurred this year.

“Regarding the change in fuel prices, it has to do with factors such as the variation in the international market, naturally, if this variation is above a well-defined level, then there may be a change in fuel prices,” he declared.

Moscow’s proposal was put forward a week ago by the Russian ambassador to Mozambique, Alexander Surikov, after a meeting with the CTA – Confederation of Economic Associations of Mozambique.

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“The ruble and the metical are worthy currencies that can be used and do not need the benevolence of some other countries that control the international system,” the Russian diplomat said at the time, adding that Moscow wants to strengthen cooperation with Maputo.

Mozambique was among the countries that abstained on two resolutions that were voted on at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly: one condemning Russia for the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine due to the war, and the other suspending Moscow from the Human Rights Council.

The Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo, the ruling party) was an ally of Moscow during the time of the former USSR, having received military support during the struggle against Portuguese colonialism and economic aid after independence in 1975. According to data advanced by CTA, the annual volume of economic transactions between Mozambique and Russia was estimated to be at least 100 million dollars (98.5 million euros at the current exchange rate).

Russia launched on February 24 a military offensive in Ukraine that has already killed more than five thousand civilians, according to the UN, which warns that the actual number is likely to be much higher.

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The Russian military offensive has caused more than 16 million people to flee, of which more than 5.7 million have fled out of the country, according to the latest UN data. Also according to the UN, 15.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Ukraine. The Russian invasion was condemned by the international community in general, which responded by sending arms to Ukraine and strengthening economic and political sanctions on Moscow.

Este artigo está disponível em: Português

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