Russia has signed a draft deal to build a naval logistics base in Sudan, where it will station up to four nuclear warships on the Red Sea coast.
Russia’s Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin approved the draft agreement on establishing a naval base in the Red Sea and will submit the proposal to President Vladimir Putin in due course.
“The project stems from a mutual desire of Moscow and Khartoum to strengthen and develop military cooperation to increase the defense capacity of both states,’ Mishustin said in a statement.
“The presence of the Russian naval logistics base in Sudan, which is set for defense purposes, meets with goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region, and not to pose any threat to other countries.”
Once endorsed, the agreement will allow Moscow to station up to four warships, including those with nuclear capabilities, and up to 300 service members in a Sudanese port at any one time.
It will also enable Moscow to use the Sudanese port for repairs and resupply.
The naval base will be constructed in the city of Port Sudan, which is Sudan’s main international trade hub, and the largest city on the Red Sea coast.
“The Sudanese side has the right to use the mooring area upon agreement with the authorized body of the Russian side,” said the draft text.
In return, the African county will receive weapons and military equipment free of charge to protect the base.
Under the deal, which will extend for 25 years, Sudan will also commit to develop and modernize the country’s infrastructure in order to maintain and supply Russian warships and provide hospitality services for crew members.
In 2017, Russia signed an agreement with the then-President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir to speed up the modernization of Sudanese forces.
Last year, after a military coup ousted al-Bashir, a 7-year contract of military cooperation came into force.