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Moscow endorses deal on Russian naval base in eastern Sudan

Russian warship to Sudan (ST photo)
November 11, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - The Russian government approved the establishment of a military naval base in eastern Sudan on the Red Sea, the last step before its ratification by President Vladimir Putin.

TASS news agency reported on Wednesday that Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved a draft agreement to build a logistics base for the Russian navy and directed to submit it to the President for signature.

The draft agreement which is approved by the Sudanese side provides that the Russian Navy’s logistics facility in Sudan "meets the goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region, is defensive and is not aimed against other countries."

The naval base will serve for carrying out repairs and replenishing supplies and for the crewmembers of Russian naval ships to have a rest, said TASS.

The deal provides that a maximum of four warships may stay at the naval base, including naval ships with the nuclear propulsion system.

The agreement on the Russian navy base was reached in November 2017 during a visit by the former President Omer al-Bashir to Moscow where he proposed to establish a military base in Sudan saying that his country needs protection against U.S. plans against his country.

After the collapse of the al-Bashir regime in April 2019, the Sudanese government did not withdraw from the agreement. The head of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, during a visit to Russia in October 2019 called for strengthening cooperation between the two countries.

On 11 October, the Sudanese Navy received a military training ship donated by Russian army within the framework of the military cooperation agreement.

It is worth mentioning that Sudan and six other countries signed in January 2020 signed the Charter of the Council of Arab and African Coastal States of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The agreement which was initiated by Saudi Arabia aimed at enhancing regional security and economic cooperation between the Red Sea countries.

The initiative was a regional response to the increasing international presence on the Red Sea, even if Eritrea did not join it.

(ST)