Russia To Help CAR Legalize Diamonds Export - Ambassador

MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 03rd February, 2023) Russia intends to help the Central African Republic (CAR) legalize the export of diamonds to solve the country's financial problems, Russian Ambassador to car Alexander Bikantov told Sputnik.

"The issue of legalizing the export of diamonds is relevant for the economic development of the CAR, which remains among the poorest countries in the world. Revenues from diamond sales would allow Bangui to solve the existing set of social and financial problems," Bikantov said.

Russia sought to assist its partners in resolving the export issue within the framework of the Kimberley Process established in 2000 by a United Nations resolution to prevent the flow of "conflict" or "blood" diamonds, which have been illegally mined, and the proceeds from the sale of which are used to finance regional conflicts and terrorist groups, the diplomat said, adding that over 80 countries were members of the organization.

"Bangui and Moscow agree that the current embargo regime is unfair. It seems that some major players are strongly opposed to increasing the volume of rough diamonds from the CAR in the world market. They are more interested in increasing the share of artificial diamonds," Bikantov told Sputnik.

By the end of 2022, the CAR managed to extract 115,000 carats in eight of the country's 24 diamond-producing zones, "while an unfair embargo regime is maintained in the remaining 16 zones," the diplomat said.

Since the full ban on CAR diamond trade, imposed in 2013, was lifted, the country is divided into so-called green areas, from where export is allowed, and red areas in the CAR's north and east, controlled by anti-governmental armed groups, where the ban is still active.