July 14, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – During a meeting with the visiting Sudan’s Omer al-Bashir, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the development in bilateral relations between the two countries, adding they are looking forward to developing military-technical cooperation between the two countries.
During a meeting with Putin in Sochi on 23 November 2017, al-Bashir expressed hope that Russia would contribute to modernizing the Sudanese army and called to enhance military cooperation offering to build a Russian military base on the Red Sea.
According to a statement released by the Russian presidency seen by Sudan Tribune, President Putin held his second meeting in six months with the visiting al-Bashir on Saturday “within the framework of the 2018 FIFA World Cup”.
“I must say that over this period of time – a short one, but still – there have been positive changes in our relations. The trade turnover, in general, is not big yet, but the pace is very good – a twofold increase over the past year,” said Putin.
Putin further said Sudan became a major buyer of the Russian wheat with almost 1.5 million tonnes were purchased in the previous period.
“We have very good opportunities to develop relations in a number of areas including the military-technical sphere, and this cooperation is developing,” he further stressed.
Last June, the Russian Ambassador to Khartoum said the two countries are discussing only the establishment of a fleet logistics centre on the Red Sea but not a military base. He further disclosed that the military from both sides are discussing the details of weapons deals including the financial aspects.
Sudan hopes to enhance Russian investments in Sudan especially in the gold, oil and gas fields and to use the income to fund the modernization of its weaponry.
In his speech, al-Bashir said the two countries studies ways to further develop economic relations. Nonetheless, he added that Russian companies, including those producing mineral resources, actively work in Sudan.
The Sudanese president pointed out that next September the two countries will discuss ways to develop agricultural cooperation and tourism
“We also encourage the participation of Russian oil and gas companies, so that they would work in our country,” he said.
Al-Bashir, also, praised the growing military cooperation between the two countries.
“We see big exchanges between specialists of Russia and Sudan. A big number of Russian specialists work in our country and this is why we highly praise the role that your country plays in preparing Sudanese military personnel,” said al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir will attend the 2018 FIFA World Cup final on 15 July before his return to Khartoum.
The official news agency in Khartoum, SUNA said Putin hailed the efforts of the Sudanese president for peace in South Sudan and the improvement of security in Darfur.
Also, SUNA reported that President Bashir called for the development of banking cooperation between the two countries by establishing a Russian bank in Sudan to support joint ventures.