Embassy of
the Russian Federation
in the Republic of South Africa

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updated 2:24 PM UTC, May 10, 2017

Embassy’s comment on the article «Underworld takeover: The Russian links»

We took notice of the article by Caryn Dolley «Underworld takeover: The Russian links» alleging a connection between the introduction of the Russia-South Africa visa-free regime and a spike in criminal activity in Cape Town supposedly involving Eastern Europeans. The article was published on News24 on 10 April 2017.

At no point in time has Ms. Dolley or News24 contacted the Embassy to verify facts used in the article and receive an official comment on the matter.

Even in terms of geography, unnamed citizens of Eastern Europe and Ukraine, either real or imaginary, come from Eastern Europe and Ukraine, and visa regulations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa cannot be applied to them. Those personalities presented by the author as «Russians» are also not Russian citizens.

The false allegations and connections implied by the author are unworthy of the standards set by Media24 and News24. What we have is a classic example of fake news, with a «story» based on hearsays, rumours, wild assumptions and unverified information.

This piece puts a taint on the visa-free regime in the eyes of the South African audience, and unfairly so, as the visa waiver has been introduced to benefit both our nations, strengthen people-to-people ties, bolster tourism and broaden economic cooperation.

Press Release on the Russian-South African protocol on reciprocal abolition of visa requirements



The Protocol between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on the reciprocal repeal of visa requirements for foreign travel passports, that was concluded by an exchange of official documents, will come into force on March 30.

Under the Protocol’s provisions, citizens of Russia and South Africa travelling without the intention of working, studying or living in the other country’s territory, are free from visa requirements and can enter, stay or transit without a visa for a duration of up to 90 days.      

Press release on a photo exhibit for the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa

On March 7, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and  the South African Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Russia, Ms Nomasonto Maria Sibanda-Thusi, unveiled an exhibit of archive documents at the Russian Foreign Ministry to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa, which were established on February 28, 1992.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian parliament’s Federation Council and State Duma, ministries and agencies, business and research communities, Russian diplomatic service current and retired staff, members of the South African Embassy in Moscow, as well as South African businesspeople and students.

In their opening remarks, Mr Lavrov and Ms Sibanda-Thusi spoke about the strong historical ties between Russia and South Africa that developed during the struggle against apartheid and have since grown into a strategic partnership. The ministers pointed out the dynamic growth of Russian-South African interaction in a number of areas, including trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation. They also positively assessed the two countries’ constructive cooperation at the UN, BRICS, the G20 and other international organisations.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the opening of a photo exhibition dedicated to the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa, Moscow, March 7, 2017

CHU 6949


Madame Ambassador, friends,

The opening of the photo exhibitions dedicated to the 25th anniversary of establishing relations between the Russian Federation and the Republic of South Africa is a landmark event. The first photo exhibition provides a fairly complete picture of this stage of our relations. I say "this stage," because, of course, our relations go much further back to the history of our country providing support to the struggle against apartheid and to the African National Congress. In the most recent historical period, relations have been based on the solid foundation laid during that historical process.

The documents presented here include the Joint Declaration of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, which enshrines the status of our relations as a strategic partnership. In this regard, I would like to note the role that the outstanding statesman and public figure of modern times Nelson Mandela played in promoting our relations. His contribution cannot be overestimated. We also note that presidents Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, along with their governments and ministers, have advanced our cooperation on the basis of the principles laid down by Mandela.

We have a fairly diversified cooperation mechanism, including the Mixed Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Russia-South Africa Business Council, which includes businessmen of the two states, the Joint Intergovernmental Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation, and the Joint Commission on Scientific and Technical Cooperation.

The ties and contacts between our parliaments and regions of Russia and South Africa are strong and regular. I would like to specifically highlight our interaction in modern ground-breaking industries which underpin scientific and technological progress, primarily, in the nuclear power engineering. We have signed a corresponding intergovernmental agreement on strategic partnership and cooperation in the sphere of nuclear energy and industry. In addition, Roscosmos and the South African National Space Agency have established cooperation. They have already developed specific projects in South Africa, and materials related to these projects can be seen at the exhibition.

I want to draw special attention to the ties between the people of our countries, and cooperation in the humanitarian and cultural spheres. I could go on and on about it. Indeed, there is very close cooperation. I am convinced that it will be even closer and more regular after the Protocol between the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the Republic of South Africa on mutual abolition of visa requirements for holders of foreign passports enters into force on March 30. This is a big event, which we will celebrate this month.

Also, please note that there is another exhibition of photographs by Russian Ambassador to South Africa Mikhail Petrakov. These photos complement the official exhibition and reveal the stunning nature of South Africa, which fascinates many. I can confirm this, as I have visited many of the places captured in these photographs.

Once again, I congratulate everyone on our shared holiday. I wish everyone all the best, and I hope Russian-South African relations will continue to progress for the benefit of our peoples.


We will now celebrate the occasion with champagne and a cultural programme. I would like to express my gratitude to our South African friends who organised for today's event a performance by a choir of South African students studying in Russia. Unfortunately, this time we can’t reciprocate with a choir of young diplomats to match your gesture, but we will do so when the next anniversary comes around.

In closing, I would like to congratulate all women on the occasion of International Women's Day which is marked tomorrow.

More Articles ...

  1. Officially unveiling the HartRAO-based cutting edge tech quantum-optical station of the GLONASS satellite navigation system
  2. Attention, Russian citizens residing or visiting South Africa! Вниманию российских граждан, проживающих или временно находящихся в ЮАР
  3. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s opening remarks at talks with Chairperson of the South African Parliament’s National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise, Moscow, September 28, 2016
  4. Press release on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s meeting with Chairperson of the South African Parliament’s National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise
  5. On 22-26 August Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov visited Limpopo Province, met with Premier Stanley #Mathabatha & members of Provincial Government, discussed interregional & economic cooperation.
  6. On 16-22 August 2016 a delegation from the People’s Friendship University of Russia also known as the RUDN University headed by Vice-Rector Larisa Efremova visited South Africa
  7. On passing away of Vadim Lukov, prominent Russian diplomat, former Ambassador to South Africa and Lesotho & Sous-Sherpa in BRICS
  8. Press Release on the Working Visit of the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation to the Republic of South Africa
  9. Press Release on the Meeting of FM of Russia Sergey Lavrov with FM of South Africa Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Moscow, November 2015
  10. Ambassador Mikhail Petrakov visits Kwazulu-Natal province on 5-10 September 2015, holds talks with officials on various aspects of bilateral cooperation
  11. Russian leaders on Nelson Mandela and his great legacy
  12. President of Russia Vladimir Putin meets with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia
  13. Press Release on the meeting of Mikhail Bogdanov, Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa and Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia with Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa Nomaindia Mfeketho
  14. Consultations of the Special Representative of the President of the Russian Federation for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov in South Africa
  15. 12th Session of ITEC between Russia and SA
  16. The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov extends his condolences in connection with the death of Nelson Mandela
  17. At South Africa’s initiative, Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma.
  18. Vladimir Putin will hold talks on August 28 with President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, who is in Russia on a working visit.
  19. Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the South African Republic Jacob Zuma, who is in Russia on a working visit.

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