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According to the publication, back in February, a Russian cargo plane loaded with cookies according to the documentation was found at the airport of Sudan's capital.
Then, disputes arose between officials at the Khartoum airport due to fears of dissatisfaction with the Russian government by checking the aircraft. According to CNN, previous repeated attempts to intercept planes with suspicious cargo were foiled.
decided to check and it turned out that wooden boxes with a ton of Sudanese gold were hidden under them.
Similar incidents of Russian smuggling of Sudanese gold have already occurred at least 16 times.
Sudanese and American officials believe that with this scheme, Russia plans to neutralize the impact of tough sanctions and support the war in Ukraine. To do this, the Russian Federation entered into an agreement with the military leadership of Sudan, which allowed the export of gold worth hundreds of millions of dollars in exchange for powerful political and military support for the Sudanese regime. Russia actively supported the military coup in Sudan in 2021, which resulted in the overthrow of the transitional civilian government.
Regulates quid pro quo between Russia and the junta of Sudan, the sponsor of PMC "Wagner" Evgeny Prigogine. Meroe Gold, a subsidiary of Prigozhin's M-invest, supplies weapons and trains the Sudanese army and paramilitaries. According to CNN, in return, the company is mining gold freely in Sudan.
“Through Meroe Gold or other companies associated with Prigozhin, a strategy has been developed to plunder the economic resources of African countries in response to Russian support for incumbent governments,” – reports the correspondent of the investigation department of the Center "Dossier" Denis Korotkov.
At least one Wagner fighter — Kuznetsov, known by the call sign “Ratibor” and "Radimir" — managed operations at Sudanese gold mining and processing enterprises. In 2021, Kuznetsov came under EU sanctions.
CNN contacted the Foreign Ministry, the Russian Defense Ministry and Prigozhin's group of companies for comment to no avail.
A State Department spokesman said the US was following this closely issue, including the activities of "Meroe Gold" and PMC "Wagner".
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