Will Russia Build Base on Red Sea After Military Deal With Sudan?

Published January 14th, 2019 - 10:00 GMT
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Vladimir Putin in Russia (AFP /Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Vladimir Putin in Russia (AFP /Mikhail KLIMENTYEV)

A senior Sudanese parliamentarian says a draft military deal with Russia on mutual navy port visits could pave the way for Moscow to build a permanent military base on the Red Sea coast.

Major General Al-Hadi Adam, the head of Sudan’s parliamentary defense committee, told Russia’s Sputnik news agency on Saturday said the agreement set the guidelines for the entry of Russian and Sudanese warships to the ports of the two countries, hailing it as a step towards establishing strategic relations.

“The date of the requested port call is being discussed. It will be approved if the two countries make an agreement. This deal will pave the way for more agreements and greater cooperation…possibly a Russian base on the Red Sea,” the official said.

Musa pointed out that several regional states had already allowed foreign countries to build military bases in their territories, adding that Sudan, just like those countries, had the right to allow Russia to establish a military base on its territory.

Last week, Russia’s legal information portal website reported that the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev had approved the draft agreement on port calls with Sudan.

According to the draft agreement, “the entry of warships shall be made after notification has been given not later than seven working days prior to the scheduled date of entry.”

The draft document stressed that “within the framework of the Agreement, no more than seven warships can be present simultaneously, in the territorial sea, inland waters and ports of the receiving State.”

It does not, however, provide for the building of a military base in Sudan.

In November 2017, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in the Russian city of Sochi, where both leaders expressed their desire to enhance military ties.

During the visit to Russia, Bashir even offered to build an airbase for Russia on its Red Sea coast.

He also suggested re-equipping the Sudanese army with Russian-built airplanes and military arsenal including surface-to-air missiles.

The Sudanese president also asked Putin to help protect his country from the “aggressive” United States.

Russia is considered as a key ally of the Sudanese government against Western pressure.

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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