Relations between the Soviet Union and the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), led by Amílcar Cabral, began in the 50th anniversary year of the establishment of the USSR, and intensified in 1961, when training and arming of the party began. In 1965, the first group of 75 PAIGC leaders began training at a Soviet military school in Perevalne, where they were taught skills in the manufacture and use of explosives and guerrilla tactics.
The Soviet Union and Guinea-Bissau established diplomatic relations on 6 October 1973. In 1973, the Soviets began to supply the PAIGC with Strela 2 ground-to-air missiles for use in its war with the Portuguese. On 21 February 1975, a number of agreements were signed by the two states, covering economic, technical, cultural and scientific co-operation, a trade agreement and an air services agreement
Russian Federation relations
On 31 December 1991, Guinea Bissau recognised the Russian Federation as the successor state of the Soviet Union, after the latter's dissolution. Guinea-Bissau has an embassy in Moscow, and Russia has an embassy in Bissau. Russian citizens and embassy staff were evacuated from Guinea-Bissau in 1998 due to fighting between government and rebel forces. The current Ambassador of Russia to Guinea-Bissau is Mikhail Valinsky, who was appointed by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on 1 December 2008. The current Ambassador of Guinea-Bissau to Russia is Rogério Araújo Adolfo Herbert, who presented his Letter of Credence to then-President of Russia Boris Yeltsin on 14 August 1997.
On 1 March 2009, João Bernardo Vieira, the President of Guinea-Bissau was assassinated by a group of Guinea-Bissauan soldiers. Russia condemned the assassination, and in noting its solidarity with the views of the African Union, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated it is "against the forceful change of power".
Mr Helbert was held hostage in the embassy in Moscow in January 2005 by students from Guinea-Bissau who were protesting at their stipends not being paid.
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