Sudan Wants Economic Aid in Exchange for Russian Naval Base

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:57 AM, September 14, 2021
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Sudan Wants Economic Aid in Exchange for Russian Naval Base
Russian ships at Port Sudan in March 2021.

Sudan wants to receive economic assistance from Russia for allowing the latter to build a naval base in the country.

Khartoum is willing to lease the port to Moscow for five years, and is offering to extend the lease period for 25 years, Sudanese military told Russia’s state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.

The base will be used for repairs and the resupply of Russian military vessels including nuclear submarines. Russia will also be able to import and export weapons, ammunition and supplies for the warships, duty-free and exempt from scrutiny. In return, Sudan will receive free assistance in search-and-rescue operations and support in anti-sabotage efforts from Russia, as per reports.

A draft deal published by the Russian government earlier this year said the Navy will station up to four warships and up to 300 service members in the Sudanese port.

In June, the chief of staff of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Muhammad Usman al-Hussein, announced a possible revision of the agreement.

Earlier this year, reports claimed that Sudan was freezing the agreement on the establishment of a Russian military base in 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.

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. 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.

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