The Russian state bank appears to have provided a loan of $ 12 billion. The United States is one of the poorest countries in Africa, and then stated that the stated payment to the Central African Republic is an accounting error.
VTB, the second largest bank in the Kremlin, said on Wednesday that the software bug confused the country with its obligations to it and awarded the CAR a non-existing loan of $ 12 billion, which was instead spread to Cyprus.
“Accounting forms link accounts with countries. The links stopped working, and countries moved everywhere, ”said Dmitry Olyunin, chief financial officer of VTB.
VTB's initial accounts for the third quarter of 2018 showed that the bank had 802 billion rubles ($ 12 billion) for the obligations of the CARs – a country whose GDP is only $ 1.9 billion.
The unexpected disclosure of information seems to indicate the growing participation of Russia in Africa and its role in one of the worst conflicts of the continent.
The CAR became one of the key points for Russia’s renewed interest in Africa, starting in December, when a team of military instructors and 170 "civilian advisers" arrived in Bangui to train the CAR army and presidential guards. Since then, Russia has sent nine arms shipments to the capital.
Relations between the two countries have become deeper, due to the former colonial power of France. President for national security of President Faustin-Arbre Touadera is Russian.
In July, three Russian journalists investigating Moscow’s growing role in the country were killed by unidentified individuals after several days after arriving in the CAR. The publication published by him stated that they were considering the activities of Yevgeny Prigogine, which is associated with the Kremlin's catering, independent Russian media owned by Wagner, the main private military contractor of the Russian army.
But bankers in Moscow said that this amount is too large for the CAR, which is one of the least developed countries in the world, with a GDP of less than $ 2 billion, according to the World Bank.
It contains huge reserves of diamonds, gold and uranium, but little investment was made in a country where 80 percent of the territory is controlled by more than a dozen rebel groups.
VTB released an updated version of its accounts on Wednesday, in which CAR debt was transferred to Cyprus, where many beneficiary owners of Russian companies are registered. Other mysterious “loans” to states such as the Vatican and Grenada also disappeared.
The CAR refused to receive any money from Russia.