The Black Sea Fleet’s leading Project 11356R frigate, the Admiral Grigorovich, equipped with the Kalibr-NK ship-based missile system with high-precision cruise missiles, arrived today, February 28, in Port Sudan, where a Russian naval base is being established. This is the first visit of a Russian warship to Sudan, where the US Navy’s fast landing ship, USNS Carson City (T-EPF-7), also visited for the first time a few days earlier.
“The crew of the frigate Admiral Grigorovich of the Black Sea Fleet paid a visit to Port Sudan, where under an agreement between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Sudan a logistical support point of the Russian Navy (Navy) will be established,” the press service of the Black Sea Fleet reported.
They noted that in Port Sudan it is planned to replenish material stocks and the rest of the personnel of the frigate after participation in the multinational naval exercise “AMAN-2021” (AMAN-2021) in the Arabian Sea, which took place from February 15 to 16.
“The presence of a logistical support point of the Russian Navy on the territory of Sudan meets the goals of maintaining peace and stability in the region, is defensive in nature and is not directed against other states,” the military department stressed.
As the mass media reported, on February 24, the American high-speed landing ship USNS Carson City arrived in Port Sudan to establish a partnership with the Sudanese armed forces. The U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) made the announcement noting that this was the first visit of a U.S. warship by the U.S. Navy to Sudan since 2008. It was also pointed out that the Carson City visit became possible as a result of the agreements made with Sudan in late January by Ambassador Andrew Young, USAFRICOM deputy for civil-military relations, and Rear Admiral Heidi Berg, director of intelligence. As Young stated, “This fundamental change in the political course of the African nation has allowed the partnership between the Sudanese military and the U.S. Africa Command to develop and expand.”
“USNS Carson City’s visit to Port Sudan is a demonstration of our commitment to strengthening the relationship between the United States and Sudan as the Sudanese people seek a democratic future,” stressed U.S. Embassy Khartoum Charge d’Affaires Brian Shukan.
It is a reminder that by the order of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a logistic support point of the Russian Navy will be established in Sudan, which will be able to receive surface ships with nuclear power installations. Preliminarily, the agreement will last for 25 years. The territory of the Russian Navy base will be located near Port Sudan, which will improve the ability of Russia to operate in the Indian Ocean, expanding its influence in Africa. According to Western media reports, the territory for the base has been donated by the Sudanese government and Moscow will be allowed to bring in any weapons, ammunition, and other equipment it needs through the airports and ports of the African country to operate the new facility.
We should add that the naval base will not only serve Russian maritime interests but could potentially become a “key” to Central Africa, where Moscow has traditional interests, including the Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Russia is interested in a military presence in the “pirate” region to maintain safe commercial shipping. As a global player in the hydrocarbon market, with projects in Sudan, Russia is also pursuing an interest in expanding its influence in the strategically important Red Sea region.