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Politics without Commerce? Explaining the Discontinuity in Soviet-Nigerian Relations, 1971-1979

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The paper set out to explain the discontinuity in Soviet-Nigerian relations between the periods 1967-1970 and 1971-1979. The explanation usually given for the poor relations between Nigeria and the Soviet Union between 1960 and 1966 is the anti-communism of the Nigerian political elite; and ideological incompatibility for the non-vibrant relations between 1971 and 1979. These explanations appear idealistic and hypothetical. A major source of the problem of explanation is the consideration of Soviet-Nigerian relations only within the context of the Soviet-American Cold War struggle, from a trilateral perspective. What if the Cold War did not exist, what would have been the nature of Soviet-Nigerian relations? Adopting a bilateral framework, the paper argues that it was the inchoate state of trade relations, which would have provided the basis for continuity across administrations, that retarded Soviet-Nigerian political relations between 1971 and 1979.

Affiliations: 1: Department of History and International Studies, University of Benin Benin City ; 2: Department of History and International Studies, University of Benin Benin City


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