XVIII century: first contacts
October 1777: Royal Edict
(Dahir) of the Sultan Sidi
Mohammed Ben Abdallah: free access for the Russian ships and vessels
Suggestion of the Sultan to establish the commercial relations.
His main foreign policy approach: General Peace to secure good environment for merchants
1778-1783: exchange of letters between the Sultan and Catherine II principle of national treatment
1880: Russia joins the Madrid Convention that was considered by the Sultan as the act of recognition of Moroccan sovereignty
On the 20 th of October, 1897: the General
Consulate of the Russian Empire is established in Tangier.
The head: the Minister Resident – Vassily
The main objective of the Russian Strategy in the region: “constant defence of the Gibraltar
Strait and the support as possible of the inviolability and the integrity of the Moroccan
On the 11 th of July, 1899 – the Ambassador Vassily
Bakherakht presents his
Credential Letters to the
Sultan Moulay Abdelaziz
The establishment of the diplomatic relations at the
July 1901 – Moroccan diplomatic mission to
Saint-Petersbourg headed by Abdelkarim Ben
In the beginning of the XXth century Morocco represents the contested sphere of interest for main European countries.
The Russian Empire, at the contrary, proclaimed always the support of the Moroccan territorial integrity and independence.
Since 1912 – Morocco is under the French and
Russia maintains the diplomatic relations with
Morocco only through
Paris and Madrid.
First World War and Russian Revolution contributed to the diplomatic interruption between Russia and Morocco
1956 – the USSR is the first country to recognize the independence of Morocco.
The 1 st of October 1958 – establishment of the bilateral diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Morocco and the Soviet
Leonid Brejnev visits Morocco in 1961. In its foreign politics Morocco is in general oriented towards the Asian and African countries (usually socialist) significant development of Morocco – USSR bilateral relations despite the prohibition of the
Moroccan communist party and the acceptance by Morocco of the American armement
His Majesty Hassan II visits the USSR in October
1966. He condemns the foreign intervention in
After the Israel – Arab war in 1967 Morocco praised the soviet support towards the Arab countries.
The USSR top statesmen:
Nikolay Podgorny and Alexey Kossyguine undertake official visits to
Juridical base of the bilateral relations several agreements signed in the 60s: technical and economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, foreign trade, air transport, fishery and others.
Creation of the Intergovernmental Soviet –
Moroccan Commission for economic, technical and cultural cooperation
Cooperation USSR - Morocco
- Foreign trade
The part of the USSR in the foreign trade of Morocco progressed till the 80 th . Then some regression marked that sphere: global economic crisis and the passage on the convertible currencies in 1982
Lack of diversification in commercial exchange:
Minerals (phosphates) and vegetal products
Energy (oil, gas), tractors and equipments
Cooperation USSR - Morocco
Jerada Power Plant
Study and valuation of the bituminous schist minefield in
Timahdit and Tarfaya
Energy, mining and geology
Al Mansour Dahbi
Development of the
Meskala phosphate deposit
Al Wahda (or Al Majara)
Cooperation USSR - Morocco
• Technical cooperation
Expert exchange in many spheres: oil prospecting, geologic and mining exploration (first of all in the region of Ouarzazate)
• Cooperation in cultural and educational sphere
In 1991 about 1500 Moroccan specialists are licentiates of Soviet High Schools and Universities
Transfer of all the Morocco-USSR agreements on the relations Morocco-Russian Federation. Consolidation of the bilateral relations.
New agreements were concluded:
1997 – Agreement on Bilateral and Multilateral Political
Consultations sectorial agreements
Creation of the Joint Russian-Moroccan Intergovernmental
Commission on economic, technical and scientific cooperation double taxation agreement
Memorandum on agriculture and food industry
October 2002 – visit of His Majesty
Mohammed VI to
• sovereign equality
• commitment to the international law
• peaceful settlement of disputes
• universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms
• dialogue between cultures and civilizations
• Political dialogue
• Economical, commercial, financial cooperation
• Cultural, scientific, technical cooperation
- Exchange of visits
After the Royal Visit to Russia in 2002 President Vladimir
Putin undertakes the official visit to the Kingdom of
Morocco in 2006.
Multiplication of ministerial visits
- Regular political consultations on the regional and international subjects of common interest
- Joint Intergovernmental Commission for economic, technical and cultural cooperation
- Extension of the legal base for cooperation
22 signed agreements, 14 draft agreements
– agreement between Chambers of
Commerce and Industry followed by the agreement of
2006 for creation of the Moroccan-Russian Business
- Interparliamentary cooperation
2003 – visit to Morocco of President of Douma
Guennady N. Seleznev
2004 – visit to Morocco of the delegation of the
Council of the Federation
2005 – visit to Russia of the delegation of the
Chamber of Counselors of Morocco headed by the President of the Chamber Mustafa
- Decentralized cooperation visit to Moscow of large delegation of the region Rabat-
Sal é-Zemmour-Zaer (cooperation on the field of commerce, investments, tourism, education and culture)
As for the bilateral cooperation: the Joint Commission examines all the matters of common interest: traditional fields (foreign trade and sea fishing) new spheres (IT, space, infrastructure, energy and mining, nuclear energy, industrial cooperation, public health, tourism, justice etc)
Morocco – the main partner of Russia in Africa: volume – 2 bln USD
Moroccan import from Russia: oil (60%), iron, copper, chemical products, wood, paper, equipments.
Moroccan export to Russia: citrus, vegetables, fish meal, fabrics, cork, zinc.
Morocco foreign trade is characterized by the deficit with Russia.
It’s necessary to explore others sectors of the Russian market, to expand the general preferences system (due to the commercial agreement of 1994) on other products, for example: textile, footwear, leather, food products.
In 2005 Morocco cancelled the visa for Russian citizens.
In 2006, during the visit of M. Putin, the agreement for tourism cooperation was signed.
Morocco participates at annual tourism and travel exhibitions in Moscow.
In 2008 about 17000 Russians tourists spent their vacations in Morocco (very modest results in comparison with Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia).
The USSR granted to Morocco a credit of 100 mln USD
(for construction of Al Wahda hydro-electric plant). The agreement fixed the reimbursement through Moroccan export.
When the plant was completed, there were still 35 mln euro to spend. Morocco presented a demand for authorization to invest this amount in purchase of barrage facilities (Wigrane, Timkit, Adarouch, Moulay
Bouchta). In 2006, during the 2 nd session of the Mixed
Commission Morocco proposed to allocate the part of these funds for social projects.
Extension of regular political consultations into the cultural and economical fields.
- Despite occasional difficulties in treatment of some economical dossiers Morocco and Russia express the political willingness to develop the strategic partnership.
- The Russian market is a very important market for the large array of Moroccan products.
As for investment, the agreement for the
Encouragement and Mutual Protection of Investments is in the pipeline.
- As for tourism, corollary measures should be undertaken concerning the publicity, marketing and intense contacts in relations with Russian tourism operator.
- There is an important potential for diversification of the bilateral commercial relations.
- Morocco can use Russian know-how and experience in the following spheres: bituminous shists, phosphates, liquefied gas, electro plants, oil prospection, GPS survey etc).
- Opening of the direct flight Moscow – Casablanca
- Cultural cooperation (an application program for the agreement on cultural and educational cooperation signed in 2006).
The Moroccan and Russian authorities shall develop the educational program (in schools and universities) to spread Arab and Russian languages in their countries, that would contribute to a better mutual knowledge of both countries and the rapprochement of their peoples.