The USS Churchill docked shortly after Russia’s Admiral Grigorovich frigate arrived in Port Sudan, where the Russian navy said “a logistical support base” would be created.
The Admiral Grigorovich frigate would refuel and its crew rest after exercises in the Indian Ocean off Pakistan. The purpose of the base will be to “uphold peace and stability in the region.
Additionally, the Sudanese military said the Admiral Grigorovich’s visit was “part of advancing diplomatic relations” between the two countries, according to a statement late Sunday.
In December, Russia announced signing a 25-year agreement to build a naval base in Port Sudan, part of Moscow’s latest push into Africa as it seeks to upgrade its geopolitical defense positions.
Russia’s navy will be allowed to keep up to four ships at a time at the base including nuclear-powered vessels. The base will be manned by up to 300 military and civilian personnel.
Russia will have the right to transport via Sudan’s airports and ports “weapons, ammunition and equipment” needed for the naval base to function. The Red Sea naval base will be Russia’s first in Africa and only its second on foreign soil, after Tartous in Syria.
The USA has numerous military bases in Africa, with one of them in the port of Djibouti, 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) to the south, which overlooks the narrow strait between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden — a choke point along the global shipping lanes.
After Bashir was toppled, Sudan is led by an civilian-majority administration which has been seeking reintegration in the international community and to ending decades of pariah status.
In December, Washington removed Khartoum from its blacklist as part of a deal for Sudan to agree to normalize ties with Israel, after Sudan was broken up into South Sudan and Sudan.
The move is hoped to help fix Sudan’s beleaguered economy suffering from decades of US sanctions, mismanagement and a organized civil war, as well as by the secession of oil-rich South Sudan in 2011.
AFP / ABC Flash Point Military News 2021.