Russia exported $506 million to South Africa in 2020. Russia’s main exports to South Africa are copper wire ($169 million), wheat ($117 million), and crude petroleum ($42.3 million). Russia’s exports to South Africa have increased at an annualized rate of 11.3% over the last 25 years, from $35.2 million in 1995 to $506 million in 2020. In 2020, Russia exported services to South Africa worth $18.9 million, with transportation ($5.81 million), royalties and license fees ($5.64 million), and other business services ($3.36 million) accounting for the majority of the value. South Africa will export $587 million to Russia in 2020. South Africa’s main exports to Russia were manganese ore ($135 million), citrus ($127 million), and apples and pears ($70.8 million).
South African exports to Russia have increased at an annualized rate of 9.21% over the last 25 years, from $64.9M in 1995 to $587M in 2020. South Africa did not export any services to Russia in 2020.
COMPARISON BETWEEN THEIR TRADE
Russia ranked 43 in the Economic Complexity Index (ECI 0.5) in 2020, and 13 in total exports ($330 billion). South Africa ranked 54 in the Economic Complexity Index (ECI 0.086) that year, and 36 in total exports ($102B).
RUSSIA’S LAVROV DEFENDS NAVAL DRILLS WITH SOUTH AFRICA DURING VISIT
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated that Moscow does not want any “scandals”
surrounding the upcoming joint naval exercises between Russia, China, and South Africa. He was responding to criticism about the drills during a news conference in South Africa on Monday, one of his country’s most important allies on a continent divided over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Western efforts to isolate it.
Lavrov stated that Russia had provided all necessary information regarding the military
exercises’ plans. He met with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor in Pretoria on Monday, in what South African government officials described as a routine visit but which some opposition parties and the small Ukrainian community deemed insensitive. Military drills with partners are a “natural course of relations,” according to Pandor.
The White House in Washington expressed concern about South Africa’s military plans.”The United States is concerned about any country exercising with Russia at a time when Russia is waging a brutal war against Ukraine,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. The government of President Cyril Ramaphosa regards South Africa as neutral in the Ukraine conflict and has expressed a desire to meditate.
Pandor has repeatedly stated that South Africa will not be drawn into taking sides, and he has chastised the West for condemning Russia selectively while ignoring other acts of aggression such as Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. Even as it has declared neutrality in the conflict and abstained from voting on United Nations resolutions, South Africa has maintained close ties with Russia, which was historically a friend of the ruling African National Congress when it was a liberation movement against white minority rule.
Both countries have been trading partners for many years, with South African exports to Russia expected to reach $587 million in 2020, while Russian exports to South Africa totalled $506 million. South Africa’s military is planning a joint military exercise with Russia and China on its east coast from February 17 to 27, potentially straining relations with Washington and European countries. It falls on the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which occurred on February 24, last year. However, South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), led a fact-finding mission to Ukraine in May 2022 and has frequently disagreed with his government’s position.”Russia’s expansion into Africa has been accomplished through ‘elite capture,’ in which pliable leaders are ensnared in long-term patronage schemes,” Steenhuisen claimed. “Fifteen African countries are currently involved in Russian-financed nuclear power deals, and many more have signed Russian security contracts.”