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Rosneft Considers Africa Expansion

Russian oil producer Rosneft may expand in the African countries of Angola and Mozambique, where its boss Igor Sechin served as a Soviet translator in the early 1980s.

Rosneft said on Wednesday its delegation in Angola had discussed the possible participation of the Kremlin-controlled company in exploration and development projects there.

The announcement came a day after Rosneft said it had also held talks over projects in Mozambique.

Sechin, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, worked in both countries as a translator, according to his former classmates and fellow Soviet translators.

His Soviet past, as is often the case with Russian politicians and businessmen, is shrouded in secrecy, beyond a few details.

Fluent in Portuguese and French, Sechin worked as a translator in Angola in the early 1980s and in Mozambique for a Soviet trade body called Tekhnoexport.

Russia and Angola have recently strengthened ties. Russia's VTB Bank helped Angola raise $1 billion in 2012 in a private placement.

Rosneft declined to comment on why the company had increased its activity in the continent and particularly in Angola, Africa's biggest crude producer after Nigeria, which is seeking to raise output to 2 million barrels per day, or mbpd, in 2015 from around 1.7 mbpd currently.

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