Russia denies recruiting Nigerian students for war in Ukraine in exchange for visa renewal

The Russian Embassy in Nigeria has denied the report that Nigerian students are being conscripted to fight with Russian troops in the war in Ukraine in exchange for visa renewal.


A report by Bloomberg, an international media platform based in America, claimed that Russia has decided not to extend the visas of African students and young workers unless they agree to join its military to fight against Ukraine.


But the Russian Embassy has debunked the report, labeling it as fake news. 


In a statement on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, the embassy said the report is aimed at undermining the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Nigeria.


The statement stated that Nigerian students in Russia face no difficulties in extending their visas, adding that no student has confirmed the allegation. 


The statement reads, “The Embassy of the Russian Federation is compelled to emphasise that such news is not only false but also damages Russian-Nigerian educational cooperation by misleading numerous scholarship and grant applicants as well as their partners, who could be extremely concerned by such fakes. 


“The Embassy states that Nigerian students face no difficulties in extending their visas while continuing their studies in Russia. Numerous associations of Nigerian students in Russia have not reported any issues in obtaining the necessary documentation to continue their stay in the country. 


“The Embassy welcomes the official press release of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this matter and expresses gratitude to the Ministry and the Association of Nigerian Students in Moscow for their efforts in debunking the fake news aimed at undermining the friendship and cooperation between Russia and Nigeria.” 


The Federal Government has equally dismissed the report as “false and misleading.”


In a statement on Tuesday, June 11, 2024, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Eche Abu-Obe, said there have been no reported cases of any Nigerian or other African students being enlisted to join the war. 


The Ministry also appealed to media outlets to exercise due diligence in the line of duty by verifying the information before releasing it to the public.

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