Sudan to Host Russian Naval Base Provided It Poses No Security Threat

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:35 AM, March 4, 2022
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Sudan to Host Russian Naval Base Provided It Poses No Security Threat
Russian ships at Port Sudan in March 2021.

A high-ranking Sudanese official has revealed that the country has no objection to Russia establishing a naval base in the city of Port Sudan in the Red Sea, on a condition that it posed no threat to national security.

"The issue of the Russian military base is the issue of the Sudanese Defense Minister. There is a lot of talk about this base. There are Russian bases in different countries in Africa. I cannot understand the interest behind the establishment of this base," Deputy Chairman of Sudan Sovereignty Council, General Mohammed Hamdan Dagalu Hmidti, was quoted as saying by local media on Thursday. “If any country wants to open a [military] base and this meets our interests and does not threaten our national security, we have no problems in relations with anyone, be it Russia or someone else.”

Hmidti held a press conference at Khartoum Airport after his 8-day visit to the Russian capital, Moscow.

Russian state media reported citing Sudanese military in September 2021 that the country expects economic assistance from Russia in exchange for allowing it to build a naval base. Sudan will receive free assistance in search-and-rescue operations and support in anti-sabotage efforts from Russia.

Khartoum reportedly is willing to lease the port to Moscow for five years, and is offering to extend the lease period for 25 years.

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. Its Navy will station up to four warships and up to 300 service members in the Sudanese port.

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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