Soviet-Nigerian Relations on the Eve of and at the Beginning of the Civil War in Nigeria, 1966—1967 (Based on Russian Archival Sources)
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Soviet-Nigerian Relations on the Eve of and at the Beginning of the Civil War in Nigeria, 1966—1967 (Based on Russian Archival Sources)
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Sergey Mazov 
Affiliation: Institute of World History RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The author was the first to examine closely Soviet-Nigerian relations during the civil war in Nigeria drawing on archival sources from Russia. He concluded that contrary to the widespread opinion, Soviet assistance, including supplies of military equipment and weapons, to the federal government, did not imply the triumph of “crude” pragmatism over ideological imperatives. Moscow’s plan was to enhance the Soviet influence throughout Nigeria, albeit with a “reactionary” government, rather than support the “progressive” breakaway Eastern Nigeria (Biafra) and receive nothing. Foreign Ministry adopted the plan of A. I. Romanov — soviet ambassador to Nigeria. According to his plan, the USSR had to try to use the opportunities provided by the civil war to strengthen Soviet influence in Nigeria through increasing cooperation in all spheres and “establishing and developing political contacts with Nigerian statesmen and military leaders”. The 1967 attempts to implement the plan were unsuccessful due to reluctance of the Nigerian side.

Soviet-Nigerian relations, civil war in Nigeria (1967—1970), USSR, Soviet foreign policy, Cold War
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