Burkina Faso has good relations with the European Union, African and Asian countries. France, the former colonial power, in particular, continues to provide significant aid and supports Compaoré's developing role as a regional powerbroker. Burkina maintains diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (usually referred to as "Taiwan") instead of the People's Republic of China.
According to the U.S. State Department, "U.S. relations with Burkina Faso are good but subject to strains in the past because of the Compaoré government's past involvement in arms trading and other sanctions-breaking activity."
Burkina Faso's relations with its West African neighbors have improved in recent years. Relations with Ghana, in particular, have warmed with a change in government in that country. President Compaoré has mediated a political crisis in Togo and helped to resolve the Tuareg conflict in Niger. Burkina maintains cordial relations with Libya. A territorial dispute with Mali was mediated by Ghana and Nigeria, which has led to lessening of tensions between the two nations.
Nineteen provinces of Burkina Faso are joined with contiguous areas of Mali and Niger under the Liptako-Gourma Authority, a regional economic organization.
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 25 November 1992.
In September 2007, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) intervened to attempt to resolve the dispute over two villages along the Benin–Burkina Faso border that remain from a 2005 ICJ decision.
When Thomas Sankara came to power in 1983 relations between Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast became hostile as Félix Houphouët-Boigny was threatened by Sankara's revolutionary regime. That was one of the main reasons why Blaise Compaore launched his coup in 1987 killing Sankara and making himself president. Under Blaise Compaore Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso reestablished good relations and both countries supported Charles Taylor's NPFL in their overthrow of Samuel Doe. They remain allies and are active trading partners.
With the coming to power of Thomas Sankara in Burkina Faso in 1983, relations between Ghana and Burkina became both warm and close. Indeed, Rawlings and Sankara began discussions about uniting Ghana and Burkina in the manner of the defunct Ghana-Guinea-Mali Union, which Nkrumah had sought unsuccessfully to promote as a foundation for his dream of unified continental government. Political and economic ties between Ghana and Burkina, a poorer country, were strengthened through joint commissions of cooperation and through border demarcation committee meetings. Frequent high-level consultations and joint military exercises, meant to discourage potential dissidents and to protect young "revolutions" in each country, were fairly regular features of Ghana-Burkina relations.
India and Burkina Faso enjoy warm relations.
Diplomatic relations between Burkina Faso and the Soviet Union were established for the first time on February 18, 1967. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Burkina Faso recognized Russia as the USSR's successor. However financial reasons has shut the embassies between the two nations. In 1992, the embassy of the Russian Federation in Ouagadougou was closed, and in 1996, the embassy of Burkina Faso in Moscow was closed.
Establishment of diplomatic relations was on April 20, 1962, with visits in 1981 by Special Envoy of the President Roh Tae-woo, in 1983 by Park Chan-geung and in 1984 by Kang Kyung-shik.[clarification needed]
Sweden is a major contributor of developmental aid to Burkina Faso. The Burkina Faso–Sweden Friendship Association was formed in 1986 to promote exchange between the two countries.
Relations are good but subject to strains in the past because of the Compaoré government's past involvement in arms trading and other sanctions-breaking activity. In addition to regional peace and stability, U.S. interests in Burkina are to promote continued democratization and greater respect for human rights and to encourage sustainable economic development. Although the Agency for International Development (USAID) closed its office in Ouagadougou in 1995, about $18 million annually of USAID funding goes to Burkina's development through non-governmental and regional organizations. The largest is a Food for Peace school lunch program administered by Catholic Relief Services. Burkina has been the site of several development success stories. U.S. leadership in building food security in the Sahel after the 1968–74 drought has been successful in virtually eliminating famine, despite recurrent drought years. River blindness has been eliminated from the region. In both cases, the U.S. was the main donor to inter-African organizations headquartered in Ouagadougou which through sustained efforts have achieved and consolidated these gains. In 2005, Burkina Faso and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) signed a $12 million Threshold Country Program to build schools and increase girls' enrollment rates. In November 2005, the Millennium Challenge Corporation selected Burkina Faso as eligible to submit a proposal for Millennium Challenge Account assistance for fiscal year 2006, making it one of only two countries eligible for threshold as well as compact funding. The Government of Burkina Faso is working closely with MCC staff to finalize its compact submission.