On May 27, the Radio France Internationale (RFI) reported that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had decided to renew its agreement on military cooperation with Russia. Under the agreement Moscow would deliver armament and train military personnel of the DRC.
The RFI stressed that Russia’s final goal is to boost its influence on and economic cooperation with the DRC in the spheres of mineral, agriculture and energy industry.
The RFI reported that members of parliament of the DRC had started discussing the agreement signed between Russia and the DRC in 1999. According to this document, Russia was obliged to deliver armament and “specific military equipment” to the DPR. Furthermore, it assumed the presence of Russian advisors in the DRC and training of DPR military specialists in Russia. DPR members of parliament are to vote this document at the next plenary meeting.
The RFI recalled that this agreement was signed in the period when DRC President Laurent Désiré Kabila faced a rebellion. Two years later, a new leader came and the DPR took the “West course”, according to the RFI.
The RFI complains that Russia will expand its influence in the DRC as it has done in the Central African Republic. According to the author, this became clear after the meeting between Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov and his DRC counterpart Leonard She Okitundu in March 2017. Back then, the sides stressed the will to pursue a cooperation in the mineral production, agriculture and humanitarian contacts.