The Russian administration considers building a logistics center for the Navy on the territory of the African state of Sudan, on the shores of the Red Sea. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has already approved the relevant draft agreement between Russia and Sudan. The prime minister instructed to submit the agreement to President Putin to sign. The decree was published on the official website of legal information.
The project of the Russian naval base in Sudan was prepared by the Russian Ministry of Defense. The document was approved with the Russian Foreign Ministry, the Supreme Court, the Office of the Prosecutor General and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation. The Sudanese side also worked on the project.
The decree explains that Russia intends to build a logistics center in Sudan - a military formation of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation complete with military and special equipment. In addition, the base should have life support facilities for berthing and repairing Russian warships.
The logistics centre in the Red Sea will be built by and at the expense of the Russian side. The base is to accommodate maximum 300 specialists. At the same time, not more than four ships of the Russian Navy can stay at the base at a time, including nuclear-powered ships, subject to compliance with nuclear and energy security standards. According to the project, Russia will be able to deploy temporary military posts in Sudan to guard its naval base outside the territory, on which it will be located.
The Sudanese side will ensure protection of external borders of the logistics center. Russia, in turn, will ensure the protection of the borders of the water area around the base, as well as its air defense, as well as inner protection and maintenance of law and order on the territory of the base.
The operations of the base will be carried out in compliance with the norms and requirements of environmental safety established by the legislation of the Russian Federation. The administration of the base will undertake to "take all possible measures to prevent damage to the population, natural resources, cultural and historical values of Sudan."
According to preliminary reports, the agreement will be valid for 25 years with a possibility of extension.
Information about Russia's intention to build a military base in Africa first appeared in 2017. The idea of building a Russian military base in Sudan was proposed to Russian President Vladimir Putin by his Sudanese counterpart Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was in Russia on an official visit. Al-Bashir proposed to locate the Russian naval base in Port Sudan, on the shores of the Red Sea.
Many Russian experts were then skeptical about the proposal. First of all, they were concerned about the high costs that had to be incurred to build a full-fledged military base. In addition, the unstable political situation in the African state was alarming too.
"At the same time, the pros of the Russian naval base on the shores of the Red Sea significantly outnumber the cons," the Rossiyskaya Gazeta wrote (the official publication of the Russian government). "Russia understands the strategic importance of the Red Sea, the Bab el-Mandeb Strait and the Gulf of Aden," the newspaper said.
Russia currently has one logistics center on the Mediterranean in Tartus, Syria. The creation of a similar base in the Red Sea region will significantly strengthen the position of the Russian Federation in the area, experts in geopolitics believe. In their opinion, the base may become a guarantor of stability in the region and will undoubtedly affect the US plans to dominate the region.