The loan was mentioned in a quarterly VTB financial report published by the Russian central bank.
The report included a table listing the outstanding financial claims that VTB group had on dozens of countries as of Oct. 1 this year.
In the table next to Central African Republic was the sum of 801,933,814,000 rubles ($12 billion) — more than six times the country’s annual economic output.
When asked about the data by Reuters, the bank said the loan to the former French colony did not, in reality, exist.
VTB did not say who was responsible for the mistake or how such a large figure could have been published without being spotted.
CAR government spokesman Ange Maxime Kazagui, when asked about the Russian data, said: “I don’t have that information.
Muscling aside former colonial power France, Moscow has provided arms and contractors to the Central African Republic military, and a Russian national is security advisor to President Faustin-Archange Touadera. »