By Ahmad Osama Satti
KHARTOUM, Sudan (AA) - The US ambassador to Sudan has warned of consequences if the northeast African country allows the establishment of a Russian military base on the Red Sea coast.
In an interview with the Tayyar newspaper, John Godfrey said "there are some reports that Russia is trying to implement the agreement it signed with ousted President Omar al-Bashir in 2017 to establish a military base along the Red Sea.”
He warned that such a move will isolate Sudan from the international community and undermine the country's interests.
"All countries have a sovereign right to decide which other countries to partner with, but these choices have consequences, of course," Godfrey said.
He added that the US can be a good partner, but that will be possible by the creation of a new civilian-led government and a transitional framework that will take the country back to the path of democracy.
During a visit to Moscow in November 2017 by President Bashir, who was overthrown in 2019 by a military coup, the two countries signed cooperation agreements on military training, experience sharing, and the entry of warships into the ports of the two countries.
According to Russia Today, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 16, 2020 approved the establishment of a Russian naval base in Sudan capable of accommodating nuclear-powered vessels.
Sudanese army chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Mohamed Osman al-Hussein said in a statement three days later that "there is no full agreement with Russia on the establishment of a naval base in the Red Sea, but our military cooperation has been extended."
On Dec. 9, 2020, Russian media published the text of the agreement between Russia and Sudan on the establishment of a supply and maintenance base for the Russian Navy along the Red Sea "to support peace and security in the region."