Russia and Sudan: Close Ties

The history of diplomatic relations and fruitful cooperation between Russia and Sudan goes back more than 60 years. Most recently, on July 13th, Moscow hosted a working meeting of the Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Aleksandr Fomin, with representatives of the military directorate of the Republic of Sudan. During the talks, positive dynamics in the development of Russian-Sudanese relations in the field of military and military-technical cooperation were noted.

Within the framework of the bilateral agreement signed by Khartoum and Moscow in 2019, Russia and Sudan are engaged in joint training of troops, military education, development of field medicine, as well as cooperate in the study of military history, military topography, and military hydrography, and Russian ships will be able to freely enter the ports of Sudan. In addition, visits of military aviation, sending specialists to implement joint activities in the military field, and education and training of military personnel are envisaged between our countries. Sudan has been under western sanctions for more than 20 years, and this agreement is perceived by them as a new step towards the country’s development in the defence sphere.

Earlier, during talks between the Sudanese side and Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, they also discussed the possibility of creating a military base in the Red Sea and supplying Su-30 and Su-35 fighter jets, as well as S-300 air defence systems to Sudan. According to Russian Ambassador to the Sudan Vladimir Zheltov, the Armed Forces of Sudan are equipped with weapons and equipment of Russian and Soviet production by already more than 50%, and for them military-technical cooperation is the main element of communication between our states.

Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Sudan were established on January 5th 1956. As a result, by 1960, the first long-term agreements appeared, on the basis of which cooperation between the two countries in various fields was successfully developed. After the past military coups and the change of power in Sudan, it was only by 1985 that our countries again began to talk about cooperation, which was initiated by the Sudanese side. The most active political dialogue started in 2010. In June this year, the Russian-Sudanese business council was approved, and in December, the working committee, which acts as the main mechanism for foreign policy interaction between the countries, was approved.

The Russian-Sudanese intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation started functioning in September 2013. In addition, Russian companies continue to actively engage in the extraction of mineral resources on the territory of Sudan. A significant role for our countries was played by the talks held in Sochi from November 23rd-24th 2017, during which the leaders of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Omar al-Bashir, exchanged views on the development of Russian-Sudanese relations and current international issues, including the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. During the discussion of further development of trade and economic cooperation, the governments of the Russian Federation and Sudan signed agreements in the field of agriculture and the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

In addition to economic and military agreements, Russia and Sudan maintain cooperation through foreign policy agencies and inter-parliamentary lines. As a result, Sudanese parliamentarians actively participated in the international parliamentary forum in 2014 and 2015, as well as in the 137th session of the inter-parliamentary alliance in Saint Petersburg in 2017. Cooperation in science, culture, and education is also developing. The direction of training of Sudanese specialists in Russian universities and Russian specialists in Khartoum University has been implemented. The association of graduates of Soviet and Russian universities and the society of Sudanese-Russian friendship are still active in Sudan.

In general, according to both the Sudanese and Russian sides, the diplomatic relations between the two states, despite some difficulties in certain historical periods, are of a strong friendly nature.

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