Alexander Ivanov’s statement dated 07/17/2023

Over the past few days, I have received several requests from various media outlets at once with a request to comment on the fact that Yevgeny Prigozhin would be forced to urgently sell his business assets related to mining in Africa. I would immediately like to respond to it publicly, so as not to respond to each media individually.

I only have enough information about the situation in the Central African Republic and I do not see any change in Russian-Central African cooperation. Businesses associated with Russian investments continue to operate, humanitarian facilities jointly created with Russia also operate, Russian House operates. The work of COSI continues and now the necessary turnover of staff is taking place, which has long been difficult.

On the eve of the constitutional referendum in the Central African Republic, FACA police and military personnel began a reinforced service regime. Instructors with extensive experience in the SMP Wagner now support them. This is particularly important given that the UN mission in the CAR has refused to help the government of the Republic provide security during this period.

As for the situation in Africa as a whole, I am concerned about reports about the possible withdrawal of Russian companies from other countries. The deep integration in Africa, which Russian companies have been able to achieve mainly thanks to Yevgeny Prigozhin in recent years, may end ingloriously. This is bad, because cooperation between Russia and dozens of African countries still has great prospects. The effect of our cooperation could be felt over the next few decades. Russian private companies have the technology and experience to build efficient businesses. I hope that reports of the massive sale of Russian business assets associated with Yevgeny Viktorovich will not be confirmed or that it is part of his business strategy and will not affect Russia’s presence on the African continent.

Also, I hope next week’s Russia-Africa forum will be less glamorous than the one held in 2019, but far more effective.

And I repeat: We stay in CAR! We stay in Africa!

Alexander Ivanov,
 Head of the Officers Union for International Security

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