No Choice After Events in Syria: Military Expert Explained Why Sudan Wants a Russian Military Base

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir held negotiations with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin and the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation Sergey Shoigu over the creation on the Red Sea of a Russian military base. As the military expert Aleksey Leonkov noted in a conversation with the Federal News Agency, this topic is now relevant more than ever.

The commercial director of the “Arsenal Otechestva” magazine noted that the world’s leaders at last began to understand that the existence of American military bases around the world doesn’t promote peace in regions.

“If we look at where the American military bases are located, then we will see that some of them are in ‘hot spots’ — for example, in Afghanistan, the same Iraq. They didn’t promote the removal of tension in these regions, but, on the contrary, promoted the escalation of conflicts, which cannot be said about the two Russian Hmeymim and Tartus military bases located in Syria. Their existence helped to practically nullify the conflict, which, in principle, should’ve crushed Syrian statehood,” said Aleksey Leonkov.

According to the military expert, “the Syrian experience forced the countries in which there are conflicts to appeal to Russia for help”. Sudan is just one of them. After the division into Sudan and South Sudan there are still clashes there, and the close proximity to the warring Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Somalia, and across the Red Sea — Yemen and Saudi Arabia, which also resolve issues with weapons, doesn’t offer peace to Sudan.

Military expert Aleksey Leonkov

“Since the region isn’t calm, it can’t economically develop. It is noticeable that the leadership of Sudan, having weighed all pros and cons, came to the conclusion that the existence of a Russian military base promotes the reconciliation of the region,” believes Aleksey Leonkov.

For Russia the existence of a naval base in Sudan also has a great strategic importance, as today it is only possible for Russian ships to get to the same India from the Black Sea only through the Suez Canal or by bypassing Africa, which causes a lot of inconvenience.

“If the Russian ships are based or anchored on the Red Sea, then for us it is quick and direct access to the Indian Ocean, which is beneficial for our allies — India and Iran. If something happens we will quickly give them support. In addition, the presence of Russian ships in the Red Sea will promote the removal of another, besides terrorists, universal threat. I mean pirates. It is unlikely that armed militants in rubber boats trying to seize civil vessels can resist Russian warships,” explained the military expert.

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