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Simply Sudanese-Russian relations – how Sudan benefits

D. Adil Abdelaziz Elfaki

Sudan participated in the Petersburg International Economic Forum from June 5 to June 8, in its 27th edition, with a delegation headed by Mr. Malik Aqar Air, Vice President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, and membership of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Finance, and Minerals. The main topics of the conference were: the transition to a multipolar model of the global economy, financial culture as an engine for the country’s economic development, digital trade and banking, and global food security issues.
Sudan’s participation in the forum was effective and positive, as the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Jibril Ibrahim, presented Sudan’s vision regarding achieving food security for African countries, the Arab region, and the entire world, through the pristine resources that Sudan enjoys, represented by flat lands suitable for agriculture, and the availability of water. From rivers, rain, groundwater, and the presence of agricultural experience among the population, the minister called on various countries of the world to invest in Sudanese resources for the benefit of all humanity.

On the sidelines of the conference activities, the Sudanese/Russian Joint Presidential Committee was held, headed by Mr. Malik Agar from the Sudanese side, and Mr. Sergei Viktorovich Lavrov, the Russian Foreign Minister, who is officially considered the second man in the country after President Putin.
The committee discussed many areas of joint cooperation between the two countries, including the fields of electricity, energy and water resources, minerals, oil and gas, transportation, communications and information technology, infrastructure, environment, agriculture, and industry. As well as the prospects for developing trade, investment cooperation, cooperation in the field of banking, and cooperation between the private sectors in the two countries.

The media focuses on a sub-topic, which is Russia’s request to allocate a supply station on the Sudanese coast for the Russian fleet. Sudan has agreed in principle to the request, and the request is subject to study by the Sudanese side, but the areas of cooperation with Russia are expected to extend to much broader areas than this sub-issue.
Russia is considered an economic superpower, with a domestic product of $4.027 trillion, ranked sixth internationally. In the year 2022, the growth rate of the GDP reached -2.07%, influenced by the European and American boycott.
Sudan has previously signed numerous agreements and memorandums of understanding with Russia, the most prominent of which was in the field of technology for converting petroleum gases into liquid petroleum products, which is a unique Russian technology that could represent an important addition to Sudanese petroleum production. Then there was an agreement in the field of prospecting for gold and other minerals, an agreement on aerial mapping on land and at sea, and an agreement on importing a bakery and technology to produce bread from flour mixed between wheat and corn.
Areas of cooperation that could bring great benefit to Sudan, and it is recommended to develop cooperation with the Russian side in them, include: modernizing and rehabilitating current grain silos and building other new storage vessels. Modernizing the current silos in Gedaref and Port Sudan by increasing their storage capacity from 150,000 tons to 600,000 tons, and building new silos with a capacity of one million tons, is considered a very great field of cooperation between the two countries for two reasons: The first is that the large capacities for storing grains in Sudan are a vital and strategic issue, because they are Food security supplies for Sudan. The second is the symbolism of the re-modernization by Russia, because the silos in Port Sudan and Gedaref were built by the former Soviet Union in the 1960s, and thus the re-modernization by Russia, the heir to the former Soviet Union, represents a symbolism of the depth of relations between the two peoples for decades.

The second matter, which represents a matter of great strategic importance to Sudan, is the Russian side’s proposal that Sudan benefit from the Russian GLONASS technology, which is used in the field of satellite navigation systems (AeroGlonas). This is for the purpose of establishing a national system for rapid response in emergency situations, command and control systems for the armed forces, police agencies and private security agencies, monitoring vehicles, and locating and managing natural resources. It is known that the Russian GLONASS system is a satellite navigation system that ranks second in the world in terms of importance after the American GPS system, and before the European Galileo and Chinese Beidou systems. This matter gains importance in that the American GPS system is officially banned from Sudan.
The third thing that we have to pay attention to at the present time is trade with Russia. The volume of trade exchange with Russia does not currently exceed $110 million per year, while Russian exports abroad amount to $640 billion. Given the tension in Russia’s political relations with a number of countries, most notably the United States and a number of European Union countries, and consequently the decline in its economic and commercial dealings with these countries, the opportunity appears favorable for the Sudanese side to open areas of meat, vegetable and fruit exports with Russia.
The fourth very important thing for Sudan at this stage is to make the most of advanced Russian military technology, for example the Russian T-90 A tank, which is distinguished by being equipped with Kontakt-5 reactive armor and a countermeasures system that combines a laser detector and a jamming system capable of confronting anti-tank missiles. Shtora-1 and TOW models. The TOS-1 Buratino 220 mm rocket launchers are considered very modern launchers and are allowed to be exported abroad. This is in addition to the 152 mm 2A65Msta-B artillery pieces, which feature advanced technology and are allowed to be exported abroad as well. God bless.

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