Sudan has suspended an agreement that allowed Russia to construct a naval base off the coast of the Red Sea, Middle Eastern media reported this week.
A senior Sudanese military official said his country had informed Moscow about the suspension, citing the need for thorough review by the parliament. He debunked rumors that the construction of the base already had begun and that Russian aircraft brought equipment to the area.
Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Khartoum said it has not received any official letter from the Sudanese government regarding the matter, saying the reports “do not correspond with reality.”
“This agreement will enter into force only after both parties ratify it,” the embassy wrote on Facebook. “Since this has not yet happened, all other statements are [wrong] and aim to damage traditionally friendly Russian-Sudanese relations.”
The 25-year agreement between Sudan and Russia, signed in December last year, aimed to “uphold peace and stability in the region.”
The deal would see Moscow establish a “logistical support center” in Port Sudan where “repairs and resupply operations” can take place. Furthermore, the logistics hub would host nuclear-powered warships and would become home to up to 300 military and civilian personnel.
Once complete, the base on the Red Sea would be Russia’s first naval base in Africa.