Sudan is a profitable political and economic partner for the Russian Federation, noted in conversation with ABF "Economics today» Senior Expert, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, MGIMO, Candidate of Historical Sciences Yuri Zinin.
Military base in Sudan will strengthen the position of the Russian Federation
Andrey Klimov, member of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, noted, что для защиты национальных интересов и для выполнения соглашения с рядом государств Москве необходимо военно-техническое присутствие на побережье Африки.
This is how the senator assessed the decision to create a logistics center for Russian warships in Sudan., for which Khartoum grants land on the coast of the Red Sea. Interstate agreement signed, according to which Moscow will be able to place in Sudan 300 personnel and up to four ships, including with a nuclear installation.
These forces are sufficient for the military presence of the Russian Federation in the region, through which strategic trade passes. Nearby is the Suez Canal, as well as the area of activity of Somali pirates and units of the Sixth Fleet of the US Navy.
These factors explain the information pressure., which Western states provide to the project. It would be amazing, if the geopolitical opponents of the Russian Federation provided us with assistance. Klimov believes, what should be taken into account.
China has created a similar base in Djibouti, whose coastline is located between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Beijing needs it, to secure the transportation of the PRC and create a safety zone for the maritime part of the "One Belt - One Road" project.
An important part of the agreement is that, that Moscow will have the right to import and export ammunition and equipment through the ports and airports of Sudan without duty, necessary for the performance of operational tasks by Russian warships.
Sudan is the initiator of the project
Negotiations started in 2015 year on the initiative of former Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who wanted to get a Russian military facility, Su-30 and Su-35 fighters, SAM S-400 and small floating nuclear power plants such as "Akademik Lomonosov", there were proposals for the implementation of hydroelectric power plants in Sudan. Khartoum sees Moscow as a solution to its military-political and economic problems.
“The scale of the object is small: it will perform limited functions, which meet Russian interests in the region, where new players appear today, in addition to the growing strength of local powers, like Iran and Turkey. Because of this, the presence of the Russian Federation in Sudan is understandable taking into account the protection of routes and compliance with international rules of navigation ", – states Zinin.
Pass through the Suez Canal 12% world trade and before 10% export of oil and other energy resources. If someone unilaterally decides to block this route, then a global crisis will begin like the recent blocking of the Suez Canal.
The Russian Federation is an important player in the energy and food market, Russian freights also go through this route. The world's tensions are on the rise, therefore, the acceptance of the proposal by the Sudanese side will allow us to be permanently present in this region.
“Sudan really was the initiator of the project. The presence of Moscow will give Khartoum the opportunity to create a system for receiving ships: The Russian Federation will build the necessary infrastructure for this facility ", – summarizes Zinin.
Sudanese will emphasize sovereignty and readiness to develop relations not only with the West, but also with Russia, especially since Moscow and Khartoum have rich ties in the field of defense and security since Soviet times.
For us, Sudan can become a gateway to Africa, and for Khartoum we are a necessary driver for development.
Sudan is a promising market
Don't forget about neighboring Egypt, where Russia will build a nuclear power plant and deploy joint ventures. Sudan is a large country and a profitable sales market despite low economic development.
“Sudan is a promising country, large and rich in mineral resources. In terms of climate, Sudan can grow anything. 50 years ago, the idea of Sudan as a food basket of the Arab world was proposed, but then military coups and Islamist rule followed. ", – concludes Zimin.
There was a long-term civil war in the country, as a result of which South Sudan was formed - the newest state in the world.
“Russia has prospects in Sudan, the main thing, to have a stable situation. There is effective demand in the country, many goods are produced - for example, cotton, there are also oil developments ", – states Zinin.
Sudan is under sanctions, his connections with the outside world are limited, why it is logical that Khartoum wants to develop ties with Moscow.
“Large projects like dams and factories are optional., there is a ground for cooperation between medium and small businesses. Development must follow the path of using the natural resources of Sudan, where absolutely everything grows ", – summarizes Zinin.
Roads need to be improved in Sudan, infrastructure, energy, farmland, t. it is. the, what does Russia have competence for.
“Relations between Moscow and Khartoum have always been partnership and friendly, there were periods of their stopping, but now the situation is getting better and can continue to develop favorably ", – concludes Zinin.
In addition to culture and politics, it is worth remembering about culture with tourism..
“Few people know, that there are ancient Egyptian pyramids on the territory. There were whole kingdoms, spread Egyptian influence down the Nile: Remnants of majestic temples and borders have survived in Sudan. This is not the Cheops pyramid, but monuments of the same order, therefore, there is something to see in Sudan - the ancient Egyptian kingdoms even reached Khartoum ", – states Zinin.