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Sudan to renegotiate Russian naval base agreement

Re-evaluation is needed of the financial arrangements and leasing conditions for the planned Russian ‘Flamingo' naval base on the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Alexei Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma's International Affairs Committee, said on 2 June, according to local media reports.

The Kremlin's only other external naval base is its 720th MTSP (Material-Technical Support Point) in Tartus, Syria.

“I think it is necessary to discuss everything and to assess carefully the need for all this. These are costly issues, they require financial assessment. I believe that not only the Ministry of Defence [MoD], but a group of departments should assess everything in detail, and then there will be negotiations,” Chepa was quoted by Interfax news agency as saying to the committee on 2 June.

Chepa's comments followed an announcement earlier the same day by Sudan's Chief of General Staff, General Mohamed Othman al-Hussein, of the country's intention to revise the agreement to host a Russian naval base on its Red Sea coast.

“We are in the process of revising the agreement signed by the former government of Sudan on the military project on the coast of the Red Sea in Sudan,” Gen al-Hussein said in interviews with Blue Nile TV and Al Jazeera.

The agreement was signed between Moscow and Khartoum in December 2020 under the previous regime. Its terms allow up to 300 personnel to be stationed and four Russian naval vessels to be berthed concurrently there, including nuclear powered and electronic warfare vessels. In return, Russia would provide Sudan with weapons and military equipment. The agreement is set to run for 25 years, with an automatic 10-year extension if neither side objects.

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