Moscou and Kinshasa lay foundations for economic diplomacy Free
Washington may be playing it cool in DRC, but Russia is increasingly keen to position itself as a key trading partner.
Following a US court ruling, the DRC may see up to $619m of its US assets seized by oil junior Dig Oil. Africa Intelligence has had access to documents that reveal the determining behind-the-scenes role played by several Congolese ministers in this legal fiasco.
Dig Oil has asked a US court for a ruling in default to confirm the International Chamber of Commerce's (ICC) 2018 order for the DR Congo to pay the firm more than $600m for withdrawing an oil block from it and delaying production contracts on others.
Though some of the Congolese president's advisors are still pushing to counter the South African firm's arbitration award with another lawsuit, others would prefer Tshisekedi to accept a secret deal that comes with financial compensation.
The arbitration ruling won by Dig Oil against the DRC has put the head of state's advisers at loggerheads. Felix Tshisekedi's inner circle are pressing him to seek a settlement with the South African oil company, while one of the country's legal advisers is pleading for an energetic legal counter-attack.
Threatened with a fine equal to 10% of the national budget, the Congolese president has little choice but to negotiate with Dig Oil even as Kinshasa looks for a last ditch attempt to annul the arbitral ruling in favour of the South African oil junior.
The DRC is coming under increasing pressure to comply with a 2018 arbitration award of hundreds of millions of dollars in favour of South African junior Dig Oil over the delayed attribution of Cuvette Central blocks.