Russia Plans Naval Base in Sudan, Draft Agreement Shows

Hub off Red Sea would further expand Moscow's naval footprint, whose facility in Syria is its only naval base outside the former USSR

Reuters
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Russian Navy's intelligence vessel Priazove (SSV-201) sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, August 14, 2020.
Russian Navy's intelligence vessel Priazove (SSV-201) sails in the Bosphorus, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, in Istanbul, Turkey, August 14, 2020. Credit: REUTERS/Yoruk Isik
Reuters

Russia plans to create a logistics hub for its navy in Sudan, which will accommodate up to 300 troops and staff, according to a draft agreement published by the government on Wednesday.

The proposed hub would be able to hold no more than four ships at a time, including those with nuclear installations, the agreement said.

Moscow is keen to increase its influence in Africa, a continent with 54 United Nations member states, sprawling mineral wealth, and potentially lucrative markets for Russian-manufactured weapons.

In 2019, Russian authorities hosted the first Russia-Africa summit in Sochi. The pact stemmed from and Sudan's desire to strengthen and develop military cooperation, according to the agreement dated November 6 and signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Further southeast, strategically located at the southern entrance to the Red Sea on the route to the Suez Canal, Djibouti is home to Chinese, U.S. and French naval bases, while other navies often use its port.

Russia currently , which is the Russian Navy's only only such facility outside of the former USSR. The construction of a logistics hub on the coast of the Red Sea would further expand Russia's naval footprint, amid the highest tensions between Moscow and Western countries since the end of the Cold War. 

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