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Sound SA Russia relations as Petrakov bids farewell

25 July 2019

In 2012 Mikhail Ivanovich Petrakov was posted as Ambassador to South Africa and Lesotho. He returns to Moscow having served 7 years in the South of Africa. His illustrious career as a Russian Diplomat began in 1981 in New Delhi, India 38 years ago. He brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to his Ambassadorship having been posted to several key positions in the Russian Foreign Service. Among these include the European Union, the United Kingdom, Australia and a multilateral diplomatic position with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) which was created after the collapse and dissolution of the former USSR, a challenging time of transition which brought about the formation of 11 new sovereign nations.

In post 1994 South Africa, Ambassador Petrakov found a nation which had to reconcile the support for the common communist ideology of the liberation movements and the ‘rooi gevaar’ (communist threat) policy of the apartheid regime while the Russian nation was in the throes of its own transition.  The growing interactions of the BRICS countries have played a significant, consolidating role in relations between the two countries in the advent of multilateralism which has disrupted a system of policies established at the end of the Second World War.

As the USSR or Russia the loyalty of friendship to South Africa remained, allowing cooperation between the two countries to strengthen.  The visa free travel regime negotiated and overseen by Ambassador Petrakov is considered a key enhancement for the people to people exchanges between countries that share a historic bond.

His passion for the photographic arts is captured in the pictures that he took while travelling around the country. He also had the opportunity of winemaking in the winelands of the Cape creating his own unique blend.  

Alexander Kulyaev, Press Attache at the Russian Embassy spoke of the key role Ambassador Petrakov played in developing and strengthening cooperation while devoting his attention to creating greater awareness and informing South Africans of Russia’s positions and promoting an objective image of Russia, never shying away from answering difficult questions. His wisdom and personal charisma helped him win over the minds of many, said Kulyaev, paying tribute to an Ambassador whom he had the pleasure of working with.




February/March 2020








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