Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s answers to media questions following a meeting with President of the Republic of Mozambique Felipe Nyusi, Maputo, March 7, 2018
Question: What’s the status of energy cooperation between Russia and Mozambique given that ExxonMobil announced in 2017 its withdrawal from joint projects with Rosneft? Will work on Rosneft projects continue in Mozambique?
Sergey Lavrov: Indeed, natural resources development projects, including hydrocarbons, account for much of our plans in Mozambique. The first session of the Intergovernmental Russian-Mozambican Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation to be held this April will focus on this subject in particular.
The projects that have been actively discussed recently include a consortium with the participation of a Mozambican company, Rosneft and ExxonMobil to develop offshore hydrocarbon fields near Mozambique. Last I heard, the consortium is working with the corresponding entities of the Government of Mozambique to formalise legal paperwork. If ExxonMobil has problems, they need to be sorted out. I think that the consortium participants will do this directly, of course, with the participation of the Government of Mozambique.
We very much hope that this and other projects between Russia and Mozambique, or any other country, will be handled based on the actual economic interests of the state where such companies are operating rather than political considerations or calculations. Let's see to what extent the economic interests of US companies will be respected by the US government.
I would like to say that President Nyusi informed us of the recent efforts to reach an agreement between the FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front) and RENAMO (Mozambican National Resistance Movement). We strongly support such efforts and consider them to be critically important in order to overcome domestic problems in your country on the basis of national accord and social peace. We will render to our Mozambican friends every support deemed useful to help promote this process.