Russian instructors are deployed to the Central African Republic (CAR) on legal grounds so Moscow regrets that the information about it is being blatantly distorted, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday, TASS reports.
"Russia has been assisting the country in line with the global community’s efforts to strengthen its law enforcement agencies," the diplomat said, adding that "we just cannot understand the reason for blatantly distorting information about that." "A total of 175 Russian experts currently work in the Central African Republic, including five military instructors and 170 civilian ones," she said. "Russian experts were deployed to the country on legal grounds, following the CAR president’s request for assistance in training military personnel," the Russian diplomat pointed out. "Their major goal is to train CAR military servicemen to use the weapons and technical equipment provided by Russia’s Defense Ministry to the country for free in late January and early February," Zakharova noted.
According to her, the weapons were supplied in strict compliance with international law. "As appropriate, a permit was obtained from the United Nations Central African Republic Sanctions Committee established pursuant to Resolution 2127. The weapons were received, transported and stored in depots in the city of Bangui in coordination with the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic, the work involved observers from the EU military training mission and the United Nations Mine Action Service," the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman said, adding that "as many as 600 CAR military personnel have received training with the assistance of Russian experts."
Zakharova pointed out that Russian weapons and instructors had been sent to the country "amid a growing military and political crisis in order to assist local authorities in resolving pressing issues related to reforming the security section and enhancing the military's defensive capabilities." "Russian military instructors are not participating in military activities in CAR. Due to the difficult situation in the country it is impossible to say when Russian military instructors’ mission will be concluded," she noted.