Russian Warships Visit Port Sudan amidst Reports of Khartoum Suspending Naval Base Deal

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:20 PM, May 8, 2021
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Russian Warships Visit Port Sudan amidst Reports of Khartoum Suspending Naval Base Deal
Amur Class repair ship PM-138: file hoto

Russian warships arrived at Port Sudan this week amidst reports that Sudan has asked the Russian Navy to evacuate equipment from the Port following a unilateral “suspension” of an agreement with Moscow to set up a service base on the Red Sea.

The Russian embassy in Khartoum, however, dismissed the "unfounded" reports saying they have not been formally notified of this suspension and that activities at the port continue under terms of a 2019 agreement to set up the service base.

An Amur-class repair ship, PM-138 of the Russian Navy was photographed in Port Sudan on May 2, continuing a series of recent visits by Russian vessels. The PM-138 is accompanying the Vishnya-class intelligence ship Vassily Tatischev and would remain in Port Sudan for around 48 hours. Jane’s reported on May 5 quoting Sudanese sources.

Earlier, Sudanese officials reportedly told Asharq newspaper that the command of the Sudanese Navy summoned a Russian Lt general in Port Sudan and informed him of the government’s decision to stop their deployment in the Flamingo military base.

Russian Warships Visit Port Sudan amidst Reports of Khartoum Suspending Naval Base Deal
Russian training ship similar to the one donated to Sudan

Some reports alluded Sudan’s change of heart to pressure from America. In January this year, The U.S. and Sudan agreed to settle the latter’s debt to the World Bank, after the African nation “quietly” signed the Abraham accord normalizing ties with Israel.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen and Christopher Coons, member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who arrived in Khartoum May 3 on a two-day visit said that their visit aims at following up on Washington’s decision to make a second tranche $700 million available until Sept 2022 as financial assistance to the country.

Sudan’s Navy had taken delivery of a training vessel donated by Russia as part of bilateral military cooperation between the two countries. Donating the ship  was part of a deal to for Russian to set up the naval  base.

Sudan and Russia signed several military cooperation agreements related to training, knowledge exchange and ship visits during a trip by deposed President Omar Al-Bashir to Moscow in 2017. The current dispensation of President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council Gen. Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok are seen as pro-America.

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