Sudanese deputy Chief of Staff Mohamed Othman al-Hussein has affirmed that his country has not yet concluded any deal with Russia to establish a naval base on its Red Sea coast, however, he pointed out that the deal is under study.
Hussein’s remarks were the first by a senior Sudanese official following Russia’s statements on establishing a naval base in the region.
“The military bilateral cooperation is ongoing,” he stressed, adding that Russia and some eastern countries were providing Sudan with weapons during the embargo imposed by the US and the West.
He told Al-Arabiya TV channel that Sudan will not compromise its sovereignty, and the agreement with Russia is being studied.
Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his defense ministry on Monday to establish a logistical support center for Russia's navy in Sudan.
According to Russian reports, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said the facility “meets the goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region and is defensive and not aimed against other countries.”
Putin’s order, which was posted on Russia's Official Internet Portal of Legal Information, is dated Nov. 16, 2020. Mishustin had approved a draft agreement regarding the base on Nov. 6.
The base facilities will reportedly be constructed near the Sudanese Navy's main base at Flamingo Bay, which is situated just north of Port Sudan, the country’s main port city on the Red Sea.
The draft agreement between Russia and Sudan on the naval logistics facility was submitted by Russia’s Defense Ministry, approved by the Foreign Ministry, the Supreme Court, the Prosecutor General’s Office and the Investigative Committee of Russia.
Ousted President Omar al-Bachir had asked Putin to provide him with protection in the face of US threats and to establish a military base on the Sudanese Red Sea coast during a visit to Russia.