August 13, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s Defence Minister Awad Ibn Ouf said relations with Russia are developing steadily, particularly military cooperation, describing ties between the two countries as historic.
Ibn Ouf, who received the Russian Ambassador to Sudan Vladimir Zheltov on Monday at his office, pointed to Moscow’s supportive stances towards Khartoum.
For his part, Zheltov described relations between the two countries as close and friendly, saying they are based on mutual interests in all economic and military fields to serve the joint interests.
It is noteworthy that the meeting was held in the presence of Sudan’s head of the Military Intelligence, Lieu. Gen. Gamal Omar Mohamed Ibrahim, and deputy military attaché at the Russian embassy Anthony Kaplan.
During a visit to Moscow last month to attend the 2018 World Cup Final, the Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir was met with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Both leaders pledged to promote military cooperation in the near future.
The two leaders last met in November 2017 in the Russian city of Sochi, with both expressing a desire to enhance military ties.
At the time, al-Bashir offered to construct an airbase for Russia on the Red Sea coast and to re-equip the Sudanese army with the Russian weapons including SU-30 fighter jets and surface-to-air missiles.
Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the government of al-Bashir that faces isolation from the West. However, economic cooperation between the two countries has remained very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400 million.
In December 2015, Sudan and Russia signed 14 cooperation agreements in different domains, including oil, minerals and banks.
The agreements also include a concession contract between Sudan and the Russian Rus Geology to prospect for oil in Sudan’s Bloc E57 and another accord for the geological mapping of the Jebel Moya area, North Kordofan State.