Russian role in EUFOR-Chad/CAR mission defined by EU

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European foreign affairs ministers meeting in council in Luxemburg have approved Russia’s participation in the EUFOR-Chad/CAR operation and defined the framework in which the Russian contingent will operate, official sources said on Tuesday.

In a communiqué handed to the press in Brussels, the council of ministers stressed that Russian participation would be limited to the transportation of EUFOR and MINURCAT soldiers and the UN civilian mission currently being deployed in the two African countries where there are 12 Sudanese refugee camps and displaced Chadians and Central Africans, sheltering some 400,000 survivors.

The Russian contingent will also be in charge of the transportation of equipment as well as of rescue operations, the European foreign affairs ministers said.

The communiqué stressed that the Russian military contingent would remain “entirely” under the command of the Russian party. “Russian relevant authorities delegate to the EUFOR command operation the power to assign to the Russian military contingent tasks with a view to the execution of its mission”.

The communiqué added that any air mission order or any other decision affecting the Russian military contingent should be reached “in close coordination” with Russian senior military officials.

It said the Russian force was being subjected to the rules of the operation defined by the European command insofar as they are not in contradiction with Russian legislation”.

Moreover, the communiqué said the officer commanding the Russian military contingent remained the only one responsible for the daily discipline of the contingent sent by Moscow.

According to Russia’s and EUFOR’s military participation agreement, the Russian party should provide to the European force a contingent of a maximum of 200 soldiers.

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