Morocco–Russia relations

Morocco–Russia relations (Arabic: علاقات مغربية روسية‎, Russian: Российско-марокканские отношения) is the bilateral relationship between Russia and Morocco.

Morocco–Russia relations
Map indicating locations of Morocco and Russia



Early relationsEdit

Bilateral relations between Russia and Morocco have traditionally been very good since the 18th century. Then the mutual relations began with the exchange of goods between the empires of Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah and Empress Catherine II.[1]


In the late Tsarist years, Russia supported the French colonial positions on Morocco.[2]


In the course of the 1920s, the Soviet-sponsored Comintern supported Jacques Doriots (then a communist) campaign against the French colonial presence in Morocco.[3]

Additionally, in the 1920s and the 1930s, the Soviet Union did not sign the Tangier Protocol.

Cold WarEdit

During the Cold War, Morocco was one of the Soviet Union's most important trading partners in Africa.[4]

In the early 1960s, Soviet-Moroccan relations were developing very well.[5] During the 1964 Moscow protest, approximately 50 Moroccan students broke into the embassy of Morocco in the Soviet Union in Moscow and staged an all‐day sit-in protesting against death sentences handed down by a Moroccan court in Rabat.[6]

In 1978, the Soviet Union invested heavily in the Mining industry of Morocco.[7]

In the Western Sahara War, the Soviet Union supported the POLISARIO and Algeria.[8] In this context, King Hassan II of Morocco said in 1980 that Morocco and the Soviet Union are "at war".[9]

Current relationsEdit

Russia has an embassy in Rabat, and a consular office in Casablanca. Morocco is represented in Russia by its embassy to Moscow.

In the 2000s, the bilateral trade relations widened significantly, especially in the mining and agriculture sector.[10]

The current President Vladimir Putin had paid a visit to Morocco in September 2006 in order to boost economic and military ties between Russia and Morocco. Morocco-Russian relations are still in constant development, while trade between the two countries reached over two billion dollars in 2011.[11] In March 2016, King Mohammed VI of Morocco visited Russia and met with President Putin.[12] Both sides signed an agreement on mutual protection of secret information.[13]

According to Moroccan media, Russia supports the Moroccan position in the Western Sahara conflict.[14]

After a significant decline in tourism from Europe, the Ministry of Tourism of Morocco is planning to attract more travelers from Russia.[15]

In 2019, the Moroccan and the Russian government agreed on investing into an oil refinery in Mohammedia, that was defunct since 2015. So equipped with a refining capacity of around 100,000 barrels per day, the refinery should later be able to reach 200,000 barrels per day by exploiting the Nador Port facilities. This expansion promises to deliver a number of trickle-down effects, including boosting job creation and infrastructure development, particularly in Morocco's northern regions.[16]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hamid Ait El Caid: Morocco-Russia relations: who is in more need of the other?,, 27 February 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. ^ David Stevenson: 1914–1918: The History of the First World War, London 2004, p. 66.
  3. ^ Susan Whitney: Mobilizing Youth: Communists and Catholics in Interwar France, Durham (NC) 2009, p. 39.
  4. ^ Stephen Zunes/Jacob Mundy: Western Sahara: War, Nationalism, and Conflict Irresolution, Syracuse 2010, p. 85.
  5. ^ Saadia Touval: The Boundary Politics of Independent Africa, Cambridge 1999, p. 128.
  6. ^ Article,, 20 March 1964. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  7. ^ Brian Pockney: Soviet Trade with the Third World, in: Edgar Feuchtwanger/Peter Nailor (eds.): Soviet Union and the Third World, London 1981, pp. 30-78 (here: p: 54).
  8. ^ James N. Sater: Morocco: Challenges to Tradition and Modernity, London 2009, p. 135.
  9. ^ L. Roberts Sheldon: Morocco says it's 'at war' with Soviet Union,, 6 May 1980. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  10. ^ MOROCCO-RUSSIA ECONOMIC RELATIONS: ENERGY, CLEMENTINES, AND EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN, Wikileaks-Cable 12 February 2009. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  11. ^ Russia’s ambassador in Rabat says relations with Morocco are "excellent",, 27 February 2012. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
  12. ^ Ahmed Charai: What's at Stake in Morocco's Royal Trip to Russia,, 15 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  13. ^ Russia, Morocco sign agreements on mutual protection of secret information,, 15 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  14. ^ Russia Supports Morocco’s Position on the Western Sahara,, 15 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  15. ^ Morocco wants more Russian tourists,, 30 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  16. ^ Dario Cristiani: Exploiting the Vacuums: Russia and North Africa in the Wake of the Sochi Summit,, 20 November 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.

External linksEdit