Russia is ‘not sending troops’ to CAR: deputy foreign minister

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Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Monday rejected reports that the country had sent troops to the Central African Republic after an alleged attempted coup ahead of upcoming elections.

“We are not sending troops,” the Interfax news agency cited Bogdanov as saying.

Russia has previously sent military instructors to CAR under a bilateral cooperation agreement.

Earlier on Monday, the CAR government spokesman said that Russia and Rwanda had sent in hundreds of troops after an alleged attempted coup ahead of upcoming elections.

“Russia has sent several hundred soldiers and heavy weapons” under a bilateral cooperation agreement, government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui said.

Moscow has been leading a vast diplomatic and financial offensive in the former French colony since 2018 in return for concessions to Russian firms to exploit minerals, particularly gold and diamonds.

The alleged coup was mounted by three of the country’s most powerful militias.

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