“(…) This week, Moscow announced that it wants to put an end to international embargo on diamonds exported from the Central African Republic (CAR). Central African Republic – the only country in the world, which is still subject to the ban on so-called “blood diamonds”, – reports the newspaper The Independent. According to most of the estimates, more than 90% of the diamonds are the CARS still being exported through the black market.”
“On Tuesday, Deputy Finance Minister of Russia Alexei Moiseev said that it is time to recognize that prohibition doesn’t work, and to fully legalize the trade in diamonds,” writes the author Oliver Carroll.
“The current prohibitions are unfair to the poor, which is the only way to earn his living. (…) Almost the entire amount [diamond] is on the world markets in the form of contraband And the proceeds are in the possession of criminals”, – quotes the words of Moses edition.
“Activists argue that the official position of Russia is far-fetched. They say that Moscow is instead interested in obtaining benefits from trade, noting that actors with close ties to the Kremlin will be ready to benefit from the easing of the rules,” the article said.
“(…) The export of diamonds from the Central African Republic has been completely banned in 2013 because of fears that the revenue from it fueled violent armed groups. Three years later, the ban was partially lifted in government-controlled regions in the West of the country. But now Russia wants legalization of export across the Republic,” from the article.
“(…) It is unlikely that Moscow’s initiative on the cancellation of the international embargo on diamonds from the Central African Republic will be crowned with success, said The Independent brad Brooks-Rubin of non-governmental organizations the Enough Project, focused on anti-corruption activities in the region. This is not the first time made such a statement, he says. Earlier this initiative promoted Dubai and India, the major players in the diamond industry. But the fact that it puts Russia, means that this idea will get “some support”, – stated in the article.
“Russia is in the process of rebuilding its influential position in Africa after three decades of relative inactivity. (…) Now a major player on the continent is China. But Vladimir Putin wants to change that, and the CAR is the main pillar of its strategy, the article says. – According to the anthropologist from the Institute of African studies, Dmitry Bondarenko, cooperation with the impoverished, the rich mineral resources of the state had become a “demonstration” of the new potential of Russia in the region. First, he said, the CAR never was in the Soviet sphere of influence. Second, it enters into cooperation with Russia “pragmatic, not ideological” reasons. Thirdly, it is using Russia to reduce dependence on the West (in this case from France)”.
“This is the first and probably not the last such maneuver,” he told the Independent newspaper, adding that Moscow will continue to seek such opportunities.
“(…) In 2018, for example, the CARS and Russia signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of security, according to which the Russian army conducts training of local presidential guard, – informs the author. – (…) Around the same time when Moscow sent their official soldiers in Africa, near the mining areas have appeared and private armies. These mercenaries tied with Evgeny Prigozhin, a confidant of Vladimir Putin, who is usually called “Putin’s cook” because of the many catering contracts obtained by his company”.
“In 2019, reports surfaced that the company is related to Prigogine and mining rights in the country, the paper reported. – According to Brooks-Rubin, the context may help to explain why Russia achieved even greater liberalization of the diamond market (…)”.
Source: The Independent
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