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Burundi signs deal with Russian bank

By on June 19, 2016

Burundi’s central bank has signed a deal with Russia’s Gazprombank to facilitate foreign investment
in the Central African nation.

The deal was signed on the sidelines of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The Central Bank of Burundi, known by the French acronym BRB, signed the deal on Thursday with Russia’s Gazprombank “to facilitate foreign direct investment in Burundi”, Burundi’s Second Vice President Joseph Butore tweeted.

The agreement “is a guarantee for Russian companies which are interested in the EAC through Burundi,” Butore wrote, referring to the East African Community (EAC) trade bloc that groups Burundi, Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.

“Burundi wants to establish trade relations with Russia and for this it needs a correspondent account to pay in local currency,” a Gazprombank source said. But the source added that there were currently no major projects between the two countries.

Burundi has been mired in crisis since President Pierre Nkurunziza pursued and won a third term in office last year.

The United States and Europe, the biggest donors to Burundi, have cut back on their support and imposed sanctions on some senior officials and rebels.

Russia has typically taken a more cautious line at the U.N. Security Council when Western states have called for outside intervention to end the violence.

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