Russian Federation

History of Relations | Diplomatic Representation | Travel Info | Health Requirements | Climate Info | Currency Info | Trade Info | Visits and Meetings | Agreements | Interest Groups/ Organisations

History of Relations

The historical links between South Africa and the Russian Federation are strong. Direct contacts between the former USSR and the ANC were established on a regular basis during 1963. In the era of the USSR, the latter was one of the key supporters of the struggle for liberation in South Africa. With the dissolution of the USSR, South Africa became the first African state to recognise the independence of the Russian Federation. Full diplomatic relations were established between South Africa and the Russian Federation on 28 February 1992.

Diplomatic Representation

South African Representation in the Russian Federation

H E Mr M J Maqetuka
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Also accredited non-residentially to Belarus.

South African Embassy

Russian Federation Representation in South Africa

H E Mr I I Rogachev
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the Russian Federation

Travel Info

Visa Requirements for South Africans

For more information contact the Embassy of the Russian Federation.

Health Requirements

Travellers to Russia, should contact the Embassy of the Russian Federation – to determine current Covid-19 travel restrictions.

No vaccinations are required to enter the Russian Federation. However, it is always advisable that one is immunised against hepatitis A and hepatitis B before departure from South Africa. In Moscow, immunisation against hepatitis A and B, is available at the British Clinic located in the British Embassy for citizens of all Commonwealth countries. Costs for an injection is about $52. Flu is common.

Warning: People who are to say longer than 3 months in the Russian Federation should present an Aids Test Certificate together with their visa application when applying for a visa to the Russian Federation.

For further information go to Travellers' Health.

Climate Info

Russia is extremely cold in winter (Dec-Feb) with temperatures ranging from -1 degrees centigrade to -40 degrees centigrade. Summer (June-August) is relatively warm.

For up-to-date weather information click here.

Currency Info

The local currency is the Russian Rouble (RUB). Each rouble comprises one hundred kopeks. In all official documentation, the Rouble is abbreviated as Rbl.

All payments in the Russian Federation are made in rouble. Businesses are not allowed to accept foreign currency, e.g. US Dollars, for goods or services rendered.

A visitor can either take cash or traveller's cheques to the Russian Federation. If cash is taken, it should be in one of the major international currencies, e.g. US Dollar, Pound Sterling or German Mark. Traveller's cheques should also be in these currencies, and not in Rand.

Cash can be changed legally in all the major centres. However, bank notes should be undamaged, crisp, clean and relatively new. Traveller's cheques can only be changed in a few of the major hotels that cater for international guests. Traveller's cheques should also be undamaged (even one tear in a traveller's cheque may mean that it would be rejected).

Credit cards can only be used in the major centres (like Moscow and St Petersburg). But not all hotels, restaurants, etc will accept credit cards. Some, even in Moscow, and most definitely any businesses outside of the big centres, will only accept roubles in cash.

For current exchange rates click here.

State and Official Visits / Bilateral Meetings

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, Co-Chaired the Ministerial Segment of the 16th South Africa – Russia Federation Session of the Intergovernmental Committee on Trade and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) with Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Mr Andreyevich Kozlov, on 20 July 2021. The ITEC takes place within the context of the Bilateral Agreement that was signed in 1999 and revived in 2002 to give impetus to the political commitment between the two countries to broaden and deepen their relations. These engagements are further guided by the Treaty of Friendship and Partnership signed in September 2006, as well as by the Declaration of Strategic Partnership signed in March 2013 in Durban, South Africa, further affirmed through a Declaration signed on the margins of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in 2018.

Bilateral Agreements

If you have any queries with regard to treaties please contact the Treaty Section of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at 012 351 1000.

Trade Info

South Africa's main exports to the Russian Federation include food products and capital equipment.For current information on trade statistics between South Africa and the Russian Federation, visit the website of the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition of South Africa.

Interest Groups and Information

Good Hope Society
(Contact information can be supplied by Embassy)

AIDS infoshare
PO Box 51
Moscow 105037
Tel/Fax: (095) 119-33-16

United Nations Information Centre
4/16, Glazovsky Per., Moscow
Tel: (095) 241-2894
Fax: (095) 230-2138

Russian Academy of Sciences
Institute of World History
Centre for African Studies
Tel: (095) 938-55-74
Fax: (095) 938-22-88

Moscow State University
Institute of Asian and African Studies
Centre "African History"
Tel: (095) 203-27-41
Fax: (095) 203-26-47

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa