Safe haven: Sudan decided on a Russian naval base

24
Safe haven: Sudan decided on a Russian naval base
Source: www.cezarium.com


Khartoum thinks


Russia now does not have many military bases around the world. More precisely, quite a bit. The vast majority of objects are concentrated in the near abroad, in the so-called territory of Russia's interests.



If you look at the chronology of the development of events, then our state has been slowly but surely reducing its military presence in the world in recent decades. The most significant was the Cuban radio-electronic center in Lourdes, which the army left in 2001. It was the closest military base to the United States, albeit exclusively for intelligence.

A little later, they disbanded and withdrew all the ships from the Vietnamese base Cam Ranh, one of the best deep-water ports in the world. The most important military facility of the Russian army was able to receive and service strategic bombers, submarines and missile cruisers. A strong outpost in the heart of the US-Chinese confrontation would have turned out now. But stories does not know the subjunctive mood. In fairness, Cam Ranh is still occasionally used by the Russian Aerospace Forces, but it is very far from the level of cooperation from the times of the USSR.

After leaving the far abroad, of course, the time has come for nearby military bases. The Russians finally left Georgia in 2007, including from the largest base in the Caucasus in Vaziani. Before that, two divisions and one airborne regiment were disbanded and withdrawn. In 2012, they said goodbye to the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan. Even Kazakhstan has reduced the Russian military presence by eliminating the test cosmodrome, the transport regiment aviation and the Emba test site.

It is necessary to consider the latest events in Ukraine through the prism of the previous losses of Russian influence. They retreated from everywhere under the contented hooting of enemies, and now they are forced to resolve issues not at all with soft power.


Gabala radar. Source: amikamoda.ru

Currently, the most important outpost of Russia in the far abroad is the naval base and aviation group in Syria. The sea at hand is very important - the Mediterranean, and the transport arteries are within easy reach.

According to information sources, in the near future Russia will have another point on the map - Port Sudan. The Sudanese authorities have long and carefully reviewed the conditions for the presence of three hundred Russian military and four ships on their territory and finally decided on permission. For comparison: the only American military base in Africa in Djibouti consists of 2,5 thousand troops.

The exact name of the facility in Port Sudan is the logistics center of the Russian Navy and, as far as is known, the agreement does not limit the number of ships on the roads. The plans include signing a lease document for 25 years with a further extension for another ten. If the parties have no objections.

The history of the Russian presence in Sudan has been going on since 2017, when Vladimir Putin agreed with former President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir. The leader of Sudan demanded a lot for the deployment of the base - Su-30 and Su-35 fighters, S-400 air defense systems and even compact floating nuclear power plants. In addition, Russia had to help with the construction of a cascade of hydroelectric power stations on the mighty Nile.

In general, for a tiny naval base by world standards, Sudan demanded almost the modernization of its energy and army. Al-Bashir was also a so-so handshake head of state - in 2008 he was prosecuted at the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide in Darfur. Russia did not recognize the claims of the West to the Sudanese president, but did not particularly accelerate the rapprochement with the controversial Omar.

In 2019, there was a military coup, behind which, according to various sources, was the current Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. And he already looked at cooperation with Russia differently.


Abdel Fattah al-Burhan is the new ruler of Sudan. Since 2019, Russia has been talking to him. Source: foreignpolicy.com

A small digression is needed here, explaining the history and significance of Sudanese-Russian relations.

In many ways, Khartoum owes its statehood to our country. After 1956, when diplomatic relations were established between the states, the Soviet Union created a powerful industrial base for agriculture in Sudan. The sovereignty of the state was supported by the supply of weapons and other critical infrastructure. Much later, it was Russia that became the country's key grain supplier.

A break in relations between the two countries occurred in 1977-1989, when pro-Western leaders came to power. Under the aforementioned Omar al-Bashir, since 1989 there has been a noticeable increase in work. Russian military advisers were constantly based in Sudan, and economic ties were expanding. But the East is a delicate matter, and the East of Africa even more so. The new master of Sudan, al-Burhan, took a break in 2021 in the hope of the favor of the United States. The military coup, which ended the 30-year rule of al-Bashir, was supported from Washington, and many sanctions were lifted from Sudan. They stopped fearing an American invasion in Khartoum, which made Russia's military presence, albeit so modest, not look so advantageous.

As a result, in 2021, Khartoum demanded from Moscow instead of the base "economic assistance subject to a lease for five years with the possibility of signing an agreement for 25 years." This is in addition to the considerable supply of military equipment, which was agreed upon with the former leader of Sudan.

Khartoum changed its mind


On February 11, 2023, it became known that the top officials of the Republic of Sudan finally agreed to the deployment of the Russian contingent in Port Sudan. Under what conditions is not entirely clear. It is only known that Sudanese officials commented to the Associated Press:

“They removed all our concerns. From the military side, the deal was approved.”

What were the fears, one can only guess. At the same time, it is too early to say that everything has been finally decided. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov specifically specified the need for the ratification of the agreement by the legislative body of the Republic. Which, by the way, has not been formed since 2019.

Even before the special operation in Ukraine, some commentators had doubts about the advisability of building a military base in Port Sudan. And now, in the light of the upcoming ratification, there are even more questions. The fact is that the NVO did not paralyze the Russian Navy - they still provide a presence in the most remote points of the oceans. For example, in Indian, to which you need to walk half the world, and then return. And so several times. Supply ships and hospital ships are operating, crews require regular rotation. The logistics base on the Red Sea is very useful in this case. If an agreement can be reached with Khartoum, then through Sudan it is possible to organize the transfer of personnel and equipment by air.

The location of Port Sudan is unique in its own way. On the one hand, the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and behind it a large NATO base in Djibouti. On the other hand, the no less strategic Suez Canal. And right under the noses of our sailors will be the most important logistics routes of the Red Sea, through which millions of tons of cargo pass every day. Given the increased importance of gray routes for sanctioned goods for Russia, control of such communications is not superfluous at all.

Simply put, the base in Port Sudan is now more important for our country than in 2019. The presence of the Russian contingent, also spiced with missile weapons, will make those passing by count.

Moreover, there was information about the possible opening of a similar facility in neighboring Eritrea. Allegedly, Sergei Lavrov agreed on this during the January trip to Africa. If this is true, then Eritrea will not trade like Sudan. The country has long been under Western sanctions, and any financial injection will be perceived as manna from heaven.

It remains only to hope that the Kremlin correctly prioritizes and calculates its forces.
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24 comments
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  1. +6
    March 3 2023
    It’s kanesh, a similar base is somewhere in Cuba, better than in Sudan, but as they say, we don’t store
  2. +8
    March 3 2023
    The merchant fleet is being bought / built, spheres of influence are designated, military bases will be, it remains to put pressure on the combat fleet, and it will be straight along Mahan ...
  3. +19
    March 3 2023
    The decline of the Empire is the worst time for those living in this period. Cam Ranh, Khartoum, Cuba...Where can it be! Enemy DRGs are walking around the Bryansk region! The generation that wore the pioneer tie has not yet died out. We remember how our troops stood in the current NATO territories. The guys from the neighboring yard served in Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia. Nevermind yourself a swing!
  4. +27
    March 3 2023
    The article confirms the assumption about the vague goals of this base. What does the author mention: airlift of forces? Yes, we rent a naval base. Traffic control? We in the Black Sea cannot do anything with this traffic, so what can we do in the Red Sea? Nothing with such leadership.
    Basing 4 ships. It's been said a little wrong. For there will be ships, not warships: a tanker, an aquarius, transport and a tugboat - the minimum gentleman's set of a base point. With such a composition, it is possible to fulfill the first task of the item - providing ships that are on combat service or located at inter-fleet transitions in the area of ​​​​responsibility. Bike post in the Red Sea. Now this is normal. And then in our world frigates go hand in hand with tugboats and tankers, like little ones.
    There is one unpleasant aspect in such a base point. Let me call it this correct term, because the base is the highest form of deployment of the fleet, it has, in addition to all supply depots, ship repair facilities, and Port Sudan is to stop for a smoke, not the base. So such an item can become a black hole for material resources and finances, a reserve for theft. In the same Cam Ranh, it was a disaster that they could not cope with. I heard a story there in Cam Ranh in the 90s that a mechanic from a floating workshop standing next to us was arrested. On suspicion of theft. He realized the situation and during interrogations began to hand over to the military prosecutors everyone he knew or heard about. At first they were delighted, but when the fur in their stories reached the command of the squadron, they were horrified. With the words: Get out of here, just shut up, - the cunning was expelled from the guardhouse. But such cases did not stop the craze for kinem (sell - Viet.).
    So decide for yourself, guess for yourself, citizens, what tasks the Port Sudan base point will have. I will immediately say to the most zealous that Cam Ranh has never had its own air defense or coastal battery. Millions swelled there, and the peninsula remained mined since the 60s and a familiar lieutenant - a marine took his squad of sappers in the morning, went out in search of a ride on the road and simply stopped somewhere, searched, found and undermined. Regularly. In our presence, two of our civilian workers were blown up by a mine. I was amazed that they were not given transport, and no one sets such a task - the guy worked at his own peril and risk. Everyone was... Waist-deep, who is shorter.
    This would not have happened in Africa. The nature there is different, but the human is the same.
    1. +13
      March 3 2023
      I agree, this is not a base in the full sense of the word, but a "bike post". And its necessity is not subject to any doubt, because without such bases, as you quite rightly noted
      around the world, frigates walk by the hand with tugboats and tankers, like little ones.
      Well, what
      such an item can become a black hole for material resources and finances, a reserve for theft
      I also agree, why is it there .. But all the same, this is not a reason to abandon the base, which the fleet really needs as an object of vital activity.
    2. -5
      March 3 2023
      Quote: Galleon
      We in the Black Sea cannot do anything with this traffic, so what can we do in the Red Sea?

      And what do you personally want to do with the Black Sea traffic?
      Quote: Galleon
      tanker, aquarius, transport and tugboat

      Instead of Aquarius there will be a floating workshop.
      Quote: Galleon
      So such an item can become a black hole for material resources and finances.

      In Soviet times, an entire air defense army was a black hole and .... USSR air defense was disbanded ???
      Quote: Galleon
      This would not have happened in Africa

      Well then, nefig and rock the boat above the belt ... with such thoughts!
      1. +5
        March 3 2023
        It was in vain that you were downvoted, I corrected it as best I could. Yes, instead of Aquarius there can be PM if there is water near the pier. I have no information how many PM-ok are still alive and how many of them are on the move to reach Port Sudan. They were all Polish built with German diesel engines. And although the diesel engines were excellent, but 40-50 years for ships is too old. The forge can still be maintained in working order, but the machines? Eh, if there was a mechanic with such a workshop here, he would enlighten. That's why I said about Aquarius. We were poured with Naples water by Aquarius at the inter-naval crossing near Crete.
        Quote: Serg65
        then nefig and rock the boat above the waist ... with such thoughts!

        But fuel will still be stolen. Or steal.
        1. +3
          March 6 2023
          Quote: Galleon
          how many PM-ok are still alive and how many of them are on the move to reach Port Sudan

          If we take the Black Sea Fleet, Baltic Fleet and Northern Fleet, then 9 PM in the ranks and on the move. I honestly don’t know the state of their repair base, but I don’t think it’s terrible, otherwise they would have been written off for metal long ago.
          Quote: Galleon
          if there is water near the pier

          The port is a large transshipment structure and our PWTO will be based on an existing structure. Otherwise, the supply of solarium and water can be produced by the Black Sea Ivan Bubnov and Admiral Poromov alternately!
          Quote: Galleon
          But fuel will still be stolen. Or steal.

          laughing I don’t even argue here ... in 1985, when parking in Algeria, all lifebuoys disappeared from the ship in one night .... fashion for clogs, however wassat
    3. +1
      March 7 2023
      I heard it means one grandmother said. The Kam-Ran base was used both with the squadron and after its reduction. A very useful item PMTO was. We left Vladik for Indian and until we reached Kam Rani, we gave additional requests for spare parts that came out in the first days of the campaign, which were sent by plane. And the rest of the crews was well organized. Mine clearance was carried out at the request of the Vietnamese, and there was no amateur activity there! I went there from 1976 to 1995. in various positions. He was a member of the commission at the closure of the PMTO, so the Vietnamese command was surprised at our withdrawal and asked to stay on!
  5. +22
    March 3 2023
    This is not a base. Just a point of logistics. They will put one ancient floating workshop there and they will puff out their cheeks on all TV channels how cool we are. In fact, we do not need a base there. For we do not have an ocean fleet and will not be in the near future. And there are no national interests there. Previously, maybe they were, but they didn’t know how to use them for the good of the country. We can’t really deal with the Black Sea, but we climb into the Indian Ocean. What did we lose there?
    1. -11
      March 3 2023
      Quote: Silhouette
      In fact, we do not need a base there. For we do not have an ocean fleet and will not be in the near future.

      Is it too lazy to move the convolutions? Or is everything that Russia does a priori all bad?
      1. -9
        March 3 2023
        Quote: Serg65
        Quote: Silhouette
        In fact, we do not need a base there. For we do not have an ocean fleet and will not be in the near future.

        Is it too lazy to move the convolutions? Or is everything that Russia does a priori all bad?

        Yes, normally he moves convolutions. In the "correct" direction for their country (Israel, Ukraine). From the word -Russia becomes bad for them.
      2. +1
        March 4 2023
        Is there anything essentially in your couch uryakalkie brains? From this same Sudan, we have already been kicked out once at 24 o'clock. Do you want a repetition of the Berber shame?
        1. +2
          March 6 2023
          Quote: Silhouette
          From this very Sudan we have already been kicked out once at 24 o'clock

          Do not tell me when we had a base in Sudan ?????
          Quote: Silhouette
          Do you want a repetition of the Berber shame?

          Berbera, this is Somalia...my young friend! 527 PMTO existed for 8 years, and after 14 years the Soviet Navy also sunk into oblivion!
          Quote: Silhouette
          essentially in your couch uryakalkie brains there?

          what Uryakal brains laughing If you are so smart, then at least open your eyes or something! Russia is now bulldozing into Africa and Sudan, this is more a logistical gateway to Central Africa than pure PMTO! Live in the present and the future, not the past...and people will be drawn to you!
    2. -1
      March 4 2023
      What did we lose there?
      There will be a place to wash your boots in the ocean winked
    3. +2
      March 4 2023
      Quote: Silhouette
      We can’t really deal with the Black Sea, but we are climbing into the Indian Ocean. What did we lose there?

      Markets.
      India has increased the import of Russian oil and coal by an order of magnitude, and even more requests. From the Baltic LNG plant of Gazprom and from the Arctic, gas carriers (already) will go this route. The base will provide safe traffic , protection from pirates and democratic robbers . Plus technical support for ships of the Navy during inter-naval transitions.
      Quote: Silhouette
      They will put one ancient floating workshop there and they will puff out their cheeks on all TV channels how cool we are.

      Look at the former MTO point in Tartus smile , how do you? A full-fledged naval base with an internal pool and bases for 11 warships, including those with nuclear power plants.
      And this one will be simpler, but a pair of corvettes or even one frigate with Onyxes and a group of marines will provide security from pirates of the 21st century in the area with the densest traffic on the planet. .
      Quote: Silhouette
      We can’t really deal with the Black Sea

      There, on land, you first need to figure it out so that the Fleet does not receive anti-ship missiles in one gate from the coast.
      And the Fleet just needs to BUILD. Then he will be.
  6. +9
    March 3 2023
    Our leader at the time hoped that the US would appreciate his decision to withdraw from Cuba and Vietnam. But he miscalculated.
  7. +4
    March 3 2023
    the location of Port Sudan is also unique. On the one hand, the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and behind it a large NATO base in Djibouti. On the other hand, the no less strategic Suez Canal.

    PMTO in Port Sudan is not for the straits and channels, it is for the Central African Republic, Mali and other stops along this road! And of course, logistics support for passing Russian ships!
    And yes ... in the title photo of Malta, the author, you have now raised the conceit of the Sudanese to the skies! laughing
  8. -3
    March 3 2023
    The fleet in Russia will not rise from its knees.
    Yes, and the Kremlin is not interested in this, since this is a matter of maritime affairs.
  9. +1
    March 3 2023
    The commentators are touching: the base is questionable - bad; the base will be bad. Moreover, I noticed that it was the same people moaning. Listen, the women don’t give you something, you are such capricious ...)))
  10. - Mr. President, how would you comment on your country's decision to create a logistics center for the Russian Navy in your port?!
    -Eeeee...keshe, melkyurdyuk...bashmelle tractors, seeders...uch mukuduk...kyusht planes...freebie gas station, a sack of rice every day....America homosexual... Russia pack is possible! Ufffff ... harasche sallying ... RUDN University - glory!
  11. -2
    March 3 2023
    Sudan, in my understanding, is some kind of exotic worthless. As an alternative, I would propose to negotiate with Iran on the principle of a couple in Syria for the Navy and Aerospace Forces. Still, we are united by a common enemy, reliable communication across the Caspian Sea and, possibly, railway along the coast. The Red Sea controls only a short route of oil and gas flows to Europe/America, but they start in the Persian Gulf. A presence in the Indian Ocean will be cheaper to organize with the new Tu-160Ms under construction, cheaper and faster than ships of the first rank. Well, this is if in an adult way, and not just "show the flag."
  12. -1
    March 4 2023
    Quote: Scharnhorst
    Sudan, in my understanding, is some kind of exotic worthless. As an alternative, I would propose to negotiate with Iran on the principle of a couple in Syria for the Navy and Aerospace Forces. Still, we are united by a common enemy, reliable communication across the Caspian Sea and, possibly, railway along the coast. The Red Sea controls only a short route of oil and gas flows to Europe/America, but they start in the Persian Gulf. A presence in the Indian Ocean will be cheaper to organize with the new Tu-160Ms under construction, cheaper and faster than ships of the first rank. Well, this is if in an adult way, and not just "show the flag."

    Ensure the presence of TU-160, how is that? You are the possible launches of anti-ship missiles, so this is not a presence, but a war, to indicate the presence is somewhat different, and how can these anti-ship missiles be visited without reconnaissance? Another question is what will the designation of presence in those parts give? ...
  13. 0
    March 5 2023
    There will be a base point, they will build a berthing infrastructure, warehouses and put in a PMku, a very right move! Tartus Naval Base, as well as the air base in Khmeimim, will be a support, and Sudan, further movement forward. Under the USSR, not without the help of "friends", the United States lost its base in Somalia. The most curious and the Americans, they got there, according to the "face".

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