Russia plans to open a naval base in Sudan according to a draft agreement between the two nations published on Wednesday by the government in Moscow, in a move that would expand its reach in Africa.
The base would serve as a logistics centre and for the maintenance of Russia’s warships. It would be solely for defence purposes and not serve to target other states, the draft said.
The planned base would be located in north-eastern Africa, on the Red Sea, one of the world’s most important trade routes.
A year ago, Russia hosted a regional summit attended by some 10,000 delegates from more than 50 countries in Africa.
Russia’s military already has cooperation agreements with some countries in Africa, supplying weapons and technology, according to earlier information.
Russia has also repeatedly sent military advisors to African states.
Moscow now seeks to show more power in Africa, in a renewal of its influence before the collapse of the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago.
Sudan, long isolated under the autocratic president Omar al-Bashir, remains in economic crisis. However, since the fall of al-Bashir in 2019, a new transitional government has sought to establish improved relations with the international community.
Recently, Khartoum normalized ties with Israel. Other states including Qatar are also interested in a presence on the Red Sea, beyond Russia.