Russian Navy Base in Sudan Postponed Indefinitely Due to Political Crisis

The Port Sudan naval base would've provided Russia strategic control over the Suez Canal, handling about 10% of global sea traffic.
  • bureau
  • 06:53 AM, February 14, 2024
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Russian Navy Base in Sudan Postponed Indefinitely Due to Political Crisis
Russian Project 11356R lead ship Admiral Grigorovich in the port of Sudan

The planned construction of the Russian Navy base in Sudan has been postponed indefinitely, according to an announcement by Andrei Chernovol, the Russian Ambassador to Sudan.

The delay is attributed to the ongoing political crisis in Sudan, preventing the local government from completing the necessary internal ratification procedures.

Chernovol was quoted as saying by Russian government-controlled media, "Due to the dissolution of parliament, the Sudanese side has not yet been able to complete the necessary internal ratification procedures."

Discussions regarding the creation of the Russian Navy base in Sudan date back to 2017, with plans to establish military infrastructure in Port Sudan. The finalized agreement in 2019 involved Sudan providing territory for a 25-year lease, accommodating three hundred Russian military personnel, four ships, and an unlimited number of vessels on the raid. The facility aimed to serve as a logistics post for the Russian Navy, facilitating the deployment of large ships and nuclear submarines.

However, the deal faced repeated setbacks. In 2021, Sudanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mohamed Sharif Abdallah declared the impossibility of ratifying such an agreement. Progress seemed possible in 2023, but an attempted coup in April of the same year led to a state of crisis in Sudan, resulting in the indefinite postponement of the treaty signing.

Amidst the political turmoil, active hostilities continue in Sudan between rebels from the Rapid Support Forces, supported by the Russian Wagner private military company, and pro-government troops. Ukrainian Defence Intelligence operatives are reportedly working with government forces, engaging in operations to neutralize and capture Russian mercenaries.

The naval base at Port Sudan was expected to be Russia's first outpost in Africa and the Red Sea, strategically positioning the Russian Federation to control the route through the Suez Canal, responsible for approximately 10% of global sea traffic. Additionally, the base was intended to simplify logistics and secure a Russian presence in the Indian Ocean.