Economic aid in exchange for a military base on the Red Sea

Alexander Akhtyrko

Khartoum expects to receive economic assistance from Moscow on the condition of leasing a naval base in Port Sudan on the shores of the Red Sea for five years with the possibility of signing an agreement for 25 years. Such data on September 12 was cited by a source in the Mini-stry of Defense of Sudan. According to him, Russia has not yet responded to the corresponding proposal. For more details on the project to create a logistics center for the Russian Navy, see the article “Gazeta.Ru”.

The Sudanese authorities intend to amend the agreement on the construction of a Russian naval base in Port Sudan on the shores of the Red Sea. On Sunday, Sept-ember 12, RIA Novosti w-rites about this with reference to a source in the Min-istry of Defense of Sudan.

According to him, Khartoum expects to receive economic assistance from Moscow on condition of lease for five years with the possibility of signing an agreement for 25 years. Russia has not yet responded to the corresponding proposal.

In June, the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces, Muhammad Usman al-Hussein, informed about a possible revision of the agreement. This was preceded by a message from Al Arabiya TV channel that Sudan is freezing the agreement on the establishment of a military base in the Red Sea, signed by the former authorities of the country. The Russian Embassy in Khartoum then denied this information.

About the base on the Red Sea

Agreements on the creation of a Russian naval base in Sudan were reached in November 2020. It is assumed that the maximum number of personnel will not exceed 300 people. At the same time, no more than four Russian ships will be able to stay there, including those with nuclear power plants.

In 2017, Omar al-Bashir , then the country’s president, said that he had discussed with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu the possibility of creating such an object on the Red Sea.

The Russian-Sudanese agreement on the creation of a logistics center for the Russian Navy in Sudan was signed in December 2020. The document allows the possibility of importing and exporting through the seaports and airports of the country, weapons, ammunition and any equipment that is necessary for the operation of the base and “the performance of tasks by warships” – no duties or other fees will be charged for this. In addition, it was planned to deploy air defense and electronic warfare in Port Sudan.

It is expected that the agreement between Mos-cow and Khartoum will be valid for 25 years with an automatic extension for another 10 years, if neither party notifies the other of its plans to stop its operation a year before the expiration of the next period.

“Crossroads of world trade routes”

“The Russian base in Sudan could guarantee the security of strategic sea tr-ansport routes in various re-gions of the World Ocean, the expansion of military-political and military-technical cooperation with the countries of the region. It will also provide rest for crews, repair and material and technical supply of ships,” Rear Admiral Ar-kady Syroezhko explained to Gazeta.Ru earlier .

According to Admiral Viktor Kravchenko’s estimates , the base in Sudan is extremely important, since it provides an open outlet to the ocean and is located at the crossroads of world trade routes.

“The location of the Russian naval base in this region allows us to control the Red Sea and the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The shortest route between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea of ??the Atlantic Ocean runs along the waters of the Red Sea. This allows water transport to pass both ways between Europe and Asia without skirting Africa. There pass the most important transport arteries from Europe through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, in the direction of Asia and Australia. Anyone who has naval bases in the Red Sea can easily take control of the Bab al-Mandeb Strait, through which the United States and the EU are supplied with hydrocarbons from the monarchies of the Persian Gulf,” concluded Kravchenko.

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