Sahara: Polisario delegation received by Russian official

A senior diplomat – and not the least – Mikhail Bogdanov, the current Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, received on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, in his office in the Moscow capital members of the Polisario. Is this a sign of rapprochement between Russia and the Polisario? 

Russia, which until then seemed to opt for “neutrality” in the Moroccan Sahara affair, seems to be distancing itself more and more from the Kingdom. Since 2016, Moscow had maintained rather courteous relations with Rabat despite political differences.

But for some time now, relations have not been at their best. This is at least what is suggested by the series of events that have taken place recently. Starting with the suspension of flights between the two countries.

The official reason is the alarming epidemiological situation in the land of the Tsars. This is why the Russian embassy in Morocco has organised repatriation flights for its compatriots. But according to some Moroccan media, the reason is the troubled links that Algiers has with the Russian mercenaries of the Wagner group. The latter would have accepted financial aid from the El Mouradia palace, in return for training the Polisario separatists, Maghreb Intelligence believes.  

Is Moscow trying to turn its back on Rabat? In any case, nothing is less certain, but speculations are rife on all sides. The masters of the Kremlin have on several occasions shown a certain interest in cooperation with Morocco, in the sectors of agriculture, fishing or the fight against terrorism.

However, an information published by the Algerian Press Service agency, APS, seems to want to stir up trouble between Moscow and Rabat. We learn that a senior diplomat – and not the least – Mikhaïl Bogdanov, current deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, received on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, in his office in the Moscow capital, members of the Polisario.

While the Russian official was able to keep his distance from the Polisario separatists, recalling at the end of this meeting ‘the support of his country for the UN efforts to resolve the conflict between the two parties in accordance with international law and legality,’ the dispatch of the Algerian agency got wildly carried away by pulling out its great propaganda panoply.

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