Russia has signed a military and technology cooperation agreement with Sudan, a country that has been under western sanctions for more than 20 years.
The document, which was signed by Russia on 8 May and Sudan on 9 May, came into force on Friday. Its text was published on Russia’s official legal information portal.
As part of the agreement, Russia and Sudan will collaborate in the training of soldiers and engineers, in military education, field medicine, the study of military history, topography and hydrography, and of sport and culture.
Russian military ships will be allowed to enter Sudan’s ports. Furthermore, military aircraft are expected to visit by invitation, as well as teams of specialists for joint military projects and military training activities.
“The parties undertake not to forward to a third party without prior written consent any information obtained or jointly created as part of the implementation of the current agreement,” the document reads.
The agreement is valid for seven years, and will be automatically extended for subsequent seven-year periods until one of the parties gives the other written notice of termination.
At the start of the year, the Russian government announced its plans to sign an agreement with Sudan that would make it easier for the countries’ military vessels to dock at each other’s ports.
At the same time, Al-Hadi Adam, head of Sudan’s parliamentary defense committee, announced that Russia could be establishing a full-fledged military base in the country. Adam told RIA Novosti that this would serve as the start of the strategic partnership between the two countries, and give Sudan access to “the latest Russian technology”. In December 2018, Sudan commissioned several Russian companies to build an oil refinery with a capacity of 220,000 barrels per day in Port Sudan on the Red Sea.
All of these agreements were made before Sudan was hit by a wave of mass protests against the government’s decision to triple the price of bread and cut back subsidies. In April 2019, President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country since 1989, was arrested by the military. In May, he confessed to corruption and money laundering.