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Putin approves new Russian naval facility in Sudan

Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new naval facility in Sudan [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 November, 2020

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In a decree published on Monday, Putin approved the government proposal to set up a naval logistics hub in Sudan.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved a new naval facility in Sudan capable of mooring nuclear-powered surface vessels, reports said on Monday.

The new facility, which will be built in the vicinity of Port Sudan, will be capable of accommodating up to 300 military and civilian personnel, boosting Russia's ability to operate in the Indian Ocean and expanding its influence in Africa.

Russia will also gain the right to transport via Sudan's ports and airports "weapons, ammunition and equipment" needed for the base to function.

Monday's approval comes following an agreement that was signed off by Sudan Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

The deal is slated to stand for 25 years - as long as neither party objects to its renewal.

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.

It has wooed Sudan with military and civilian nuclear cooperation agreements, signing a deal between the countries' armed forces in May 2019 that is set to last seven years.

In January last year, Russia acknowledged, as a political crisis reached its peak in Sudan, that its military advisors had already been on the ground "for some time" alongside forces loyal to the government.

Former Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir asked President Vladimir Putin to "protect" his country from the US when he visited Russia in 2017.

He said military cooperation should be stepped up to "re-equip" Sudan's armed forces.

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