Sudanese President Visits Russia: Seeking Protection from the United States

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Sudanese President Visits Russia: Seeking Protection from the United States

Written by Peter Korzun; Originally appeared at strategic-culture.org

We have been dreaming about this visit for a long time,” said Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir as he was being greeted by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov.23 at the Black Sea resort of Sochi. “We are thankful to Russia for its position on the international arena, including Russia’s position in the protection of Sudan,” he added. This is the first time the Sudanese leader visited Russia – the country he pins great hopes on.

The agenda included economic and military cooperation. The Sudanese leader said he had discussed modernization of the Sudanese military with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu before meeting President Putin. “We agreed with the defense minister that Russia will offer assistance to that,” he informed. The sides agreed to increase the size of defense attaché staffs.

Omar al-Bashir asked the Russian president for “protection from the aggressive acts of the United States.” He expressed concern over the situation in the Red Sea, where he sees the US military presence as a problem, saying “we would like to discuss the issue from the point of view of the use of bases in the Red Sea.” The Sudanese leader believes that the conflict in Syria is the result of US interference. The country would be lost if Russia did not lend a helping hand. The success in Syria boosts the Moscow’s reputation and makes other developing countries seek its friendship and cooperation.

According to President al-Bashir, Sudan could serve as a gateway to Africa for Russia. Khartoum is looking forward to cooperation with Moscow in oil exploration, transport and agriculture. In 2015, Russian company Siberian for Mining found large gold deposits in Sudan with only explored reserves standing at 46,000 tons and signed the biggest investment deal in the country’s history. Large gold deposits were discovered in two provinces – the Red Sea and the River Nile. The market value of the gold amounts to US $298 billion.

Al-Bashir, who rose to power in 1989, is on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) wanted list for allegedly committing crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region. ICC prosecutors issued two warrants for al-Bashir’s arrest, in 2009 and 2010. The Russian government recognizes al-Bashir as the legitimate president of the country. In 2016, Moscow formally pulled out from the ICC. The reason was the failure of the ICC “to… become a truly independent and respected body of international justice». According to Moscow, the judicial body is ineffective and one-sided. Some provisions of the Rome Statute contradict Russia’s constitution, including the mandatory transfer of investigated persons to the ICC, the right to sue heads of state and government figures, and non-compliance with the principle that no one should be held accountable twice for the same crime (“ne bis in idem”).

The Russia-Sudan summit is demonstration of Moscow’s growing impact in Africa. Russia has more than 40 full-fledged diplomatic representations on the continent and has fixed special trade missions to help facilitate trade and investment in a number of African countries. Russia has a special relationship with South Africa. Both countries cooperate within the framework of BRICS. Egypt, a traditional US ally, has shifted sides and allied with Russia since President Sisi took power. Russia’s relations with the countries of the continent are deepening. This is facilitated by negotiations at the highest level. Relations develop with leading regional associations, including the African Union.

The last couple of years have seen a rise in Russia–Africa trade, with aggregate turnover reaching $14.5 billion in 2016, up by $3.4 billion year-on-year. The bulk of it ($10.1 billion) was done by four countries, including Egypt ($4.16 billion), Algeria ($3.98 billion), Morocco ($ 1.29 billion) and South Africa ($718 million).

28 out of 55 African nations boast growing trade with Russia, with Ethiopia, Cameroon, Angola, Sudan and Zimbabwe leading the trend. According to the Eurasian Economic Commission, Africa was the only region to have expanded its trade turnover with Russia in 2016 (unlike the EU, MERCOSUR, APEC, and others).

Nuclear power development options in Africa are now a hot topic, with relevant agreements already signed with Sudan, Zambia, Morocco, South Africa and other countries. Africa is a promising market for Russian grain and agricultural machinery, with the country’s wheat exports heading to Morocco, South Africa, Libya, Kenya, Sudan, Nigeria and Egypt. Sudan, Congo and Senegal have recently indicated interest in pursuing joint oil and gas projects. Russian business holds a leading position in mineral exploration (bauxite, gold, and copper, and cobalt, and diamonds, and many more). Russian diamond-mining company ALROSA is active in South Africa, Sierra Leone, Namibia, and Angola (where it reportedly controls 60% of all extracted diamonds). An agreement with the African partners on economic and trade cooperation in order to avoid double taxation and protection of intellectual property is on the agenda.

Russia is a major supplier of arms to both North and sub-Saharan Africa. Russia continues to gain ground in North Africa, boosting its military exports to Algeria and Egypt while strengthening economic ties with Morocco and Tunisia. Russian arms are an increasingly popular alternative to US weaponry. Moscow’s historically strong arms trade with African countries has been growing in recent years, despite tough competition. Russia ranks first in arms imports to sub-Saharan Africa accounting for 30% of all supplies. Missiles, artillery, small arms, and aircraft are key Russia’s export items to Africa, with helicopters taking an increasingly important share.

There is something more to promote the Russia-Africa rapprochement. They have a common interest in the formation of a just and democratic world order, based on collective approach to the resolution of international problems and the superiority of international law. Both Russia and Africa, reject the unipolar model, the attempts of one country or a limited number of countries to impose their will on the rest of the world. Sudan is a good example of an African country getting closer to Russia in response to the pressure from the West. It seeks new partners to counter the diktat of the United States. Developing ties with Moscow offers such an opportunity.

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  • Bru

    One more excellent development.

    • irish crusader

      north sudan muslim brotherhood rats
      they funded rebels against gadaffi. they funded civil war muslims vs catholics in central african republic, started the south sudan civil war with savages killing each other and sent their army to aid the saudi extermination in north yemen

      putin shouldnt bother his arse with them

  • Bob

    Retired US General Wesley Clark famously stated that immediately after the attacks of 9/11, the
    Pentagon adopted a new plan to topple the governments of seven foreign countries in five years;
    Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Iran. Looking at that list and the major conflict patterns that clearly align with it since 2003, it comes as no surprise that in wake of the Syrian war, the Sudanese leadership are looking for external Russian assistance, before they likely receive full regime change attentions of the Pentagon. Particularly, given that US troops are already stationed and operational inside of neighboring South Sudan – presumably the Sudanese leadership is very weary of ending up in a spectacle war crimes trial a-la Milosevic or arbitrarily murdered a-la Hussein and Qaddafi.

    • Joe

      Only countries aligned and protected by a major power like Russia can survive US threats. Iraq and Libya had none and both attacked . Syria is saved because of Russia.

      Sudan knows this . Venezuela not protected and in danger

      • irish crusader

        omar bashir and his north sudan muslim brotherhood rats
        they funded rebels against gadaffi. they funded civil war muslims vs catholics in central african republic, started the south sudan civil war with savages killing each other and sent their army to aid the saudi extermination in north yemen
        think again

        • Brother Ma

          I agree, basheer is a snake like erdogan and russia should cut them loose as soon as it can safely do so.

          Both leaders should be made to “die of natural causes” by russia to punish them for overseeing the killing of Christians .

    • Garga

      Aren’t they finished with Sudan after dividing it into 3 and cutting off it’s most oil-rich region?
      Apparently his honeymoon with Saudis wasn’t what Mr. Basheer expected.

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  • pet

    Instead of helping Muslims fundamentalists, weather Shiite or Sunni, all over the place, Russia would be well advised to finally focus on its own people forgotten and lost after fall of Soviet Union. Russians should know by now that cozyng up to Iran, Sudan, SA and such will mean one thing only: the chickens will eventually come back home to roost.

    • VGA

      Russia is solving its own problems with islamists by helping the Syrian government defeat them. Putin is imoroving the situation and bringing stability.

      • irish crusader

        they will stab russia and assad in the back the others will use russia and dump them

    • Joe

      Russia with Iran and Turkey …. Already controlled the ME if you do not realize.

      What rubbish you talk about cozying to Iran bullshit? Really silly

      • Solomon Krupacek

        these countries do not control anything. not only their own territory.

    • Tudor Miron

      pet, who are you to give us advise? May be you share your track record with us?
      So Russia should stay out of Syria while US/UK/Israel are ripping it apart? Russia is promoting a different world development strategy in comparision to one pushed by NWO and it does that for very simple reason – many (not all) start to realise that in order “for me to feel good it requires that those around me also feel good”. The model “to feel good at expece of others” promoted by gp is absolete and leads this planet to destruction.

      • zman

        If Putin does business with Sudan, one of the prerequisites should be for them to GTFO of Yemen. That would be a great turn of events.

        • Tudor Miron

          I agree. It seems (I hope so) that Sudan is turning away from their SA affair but needs some help doing so.

          • zman

            I sincerely hope so. It would also signal the loss of influence of western criminality…something the whole world would rejoice in…well, except for that Zionist terrorist nation at the root of most of the suffering in the world.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        this was no advise, this is his opinion. he is a free man in free country. i know in slaverysh russia is this fact unrealisable, but try to accept opinions of other people. you are also copyin western products, you learned from western firms. som dont be soooo much proud!

        and my first thought was also, why is putin supporting hard moslem dictators?

        • Tudor Miron

          Solomonchik… what do you know about freedom? Being a slave of talmud (i.e. anti human ideology) has nothing to do with freedom so don’t even bother talking about something completly out of your miserable world.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            i am not jew, muzhik :)))

            btw., still nobody answered, why is good for russia to support moslem dictators?

    • irish crusader

      sudan the north under that madman funded rebels against gadaffi. funded the islamics civil war in central african republic, started the south sudan civil war with savages killing each other and sent soilders to aid the saudi extermination campaigns in north yemen
      russia should stay away from them
      russia used to fund spla secular rebels against that goverment

  • Manuel Flores Escobar

    USA/EU have a colonialist mentality towards African/ south America countries…no equal business just only loot their resources and indebt them..otherwise can emerge there the ISIS, drug dealers, latin street gangs, corruption, economic sanctions with empty pretex….etc…

  • irish crusader

    funded rebels against gadaffi. funded the islamics civil war in central african republic, started the south sudan civil war with savages killing each other and sent soilders to aid the saudi extermination campaigns in north yemen the north sudan muslim brotherhood goverment is a cancer in africa

  • That Guy

    Putin looks like a true badass in this picture.

  • Hide Behind

    Russia and it’s people still want a cultural identity, their ancestral roots, and an economic system that allows those roots to exist within a common memory, seperate but not elitist,; “We may of came from economic poverty into a higher material wealth. But as a people we have a lways had a rich heritage, that withstood invasions of many forms”,
    Can an you have Germany without a German, A Finland without Finnish peoples, or a France made up by a majority of African refugees?
    The ONE WORLD ORDER CANNOT RECOGNIZE CULTURAL OR SOVEREIGN BORDERS, AS IT IS AN ECONOMIC, TECHNOCRATIC AND ELITIST LED SYSTEM.
    Arts and cultural identity can only exist as a means of capital growth.

  • Hide Behind

    While we sit on our collective ass and and mentally masturbate over, “What could be”; our whimpering and jealousy ridden selfie voices are drowned out by the very active and loud elites, who determine, “Why it cannot be”.

  • hhabana

    Good to have more players in the region. Better for the world that there is not one dominant country.

    • Solomon Krupacek

      dont want to travel there? and play?