The Central African Republic (CAR) is looking into further cooperation with Russia, including a possible establishment of a permanent Russian military base in the country, CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera said in an interview with Russian media.
“We continue the work in this framework between our defense ministry and the Russian defense ministry to look into the possibility of cooperation,” Touadera stated after he was asked whether negotiations on a Russian military base in the republic were underway.
“Our cooperation with Russia is transparent. We addressed the Foreign Ministry and [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin in the framework of arms deliveries to CAR. That is done under the control of the Sanctions Committee of the UN… It was previewed that the Russian instructors could come train CAR military to use these arms. It’s the Russian defense minister whom CAR defense minister addressed for this question. It’s a state-to-state cooperation,” Toudera said.
The president added that the Russian business is welcome to invest in the CAR.
“There is also a number of sectors for investment. Let’s say Russian businessmen have a lot of capacities in CAR in the sectors of commerce and industry. These sectors were liberalized, so they can come and launch their activities, invest in CAR, respecting … the laws of commerce,” Toudera said.
For example, earlier in 2019, Russia’s Lobaye Invest received a license to mine gold and diamonds in CAR.
The security and economic cooperation between Russia and the CAR has for a long time been a center of various speculations by mainstream media. The main claim is that the Russians are somehow ‘undermining democracy’ there by assisting the government to resore security across the country.
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