Sudan Legislators to Review Deal with Russian Navy Base

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During a visit to Moscow on Monday, Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam al-Mahdi stated that legislators in the African country will examine a deal negotiated by the country’s deposed leader to construct a Russian naval station there, The Moscow Times reports.

In 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to discuss the establishment of a naval station in Port Sudan, on the Red Sea coast of Sudan.

However, Bashir was deposed in 2019, and Sudan has subsequently grown closer to the U.S.

The Sudanese side never made a statement, but Russia stated in December last year that it had inked a 25-year agreement with Khartoum to build and manage the base.

Sudan’s senior military official stated last month that the document was being reviewed after several provisions were deemed to be “slightly damaging.”

Mahdi said the deal will be studied by the legislature during a news conference with his Russian colleague Sergei Lavrov on Monday.

Sudan’s legislature, on the other hand, has yet to be established.

Sudan has been headed by a transitional administration since August 2019, with the goal of ending the country’s international isolation.

The basing agreement allowed Russia’s navy to station up to four ships, including nuclear-powered vessels, as well as up to 300 military and civilian employees, at any given time.

The deal will be evaluated by lawmakers to see if it is a “benefit to Sudan itself and the strategic interests pursued by Russia and Sudan,” according to Mahdi.

Because of crushing sanctions imposed by the US against the regime of now-deposed President Bashir, the country has been militarily dependent on Russia for decades.