December 3, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - The 4th session of the joint Sudanese-Russian High-level Committee would convene on Monday in Moscow to discuss a number of issues including minerals investments.
In a press release on Saturday, Sudan’s Ministry of Minerals said the Sudanese side will be led by the Minister of Minerals Ahmed Sadiq al-Karouri while the Russian side will be headed by the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergey Yefimovich Donskoy.
According to the press release, the Sudanese delegation would include several Under-Secretaries from the concerned ministries besides a number of businessmen.
Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Minerals Najm al-Din Daoud said the meetings will start on Monday and continue for three days, pointing that several agreements and Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) would be signed in a number of domains including minerals, investment, agriculture, education and health.
Daoud, who also heads Sudan’s technical delegation to the 4 th session, added that the meetings would promote the existing partnership and joint cooperation between Russia and Sudan for the benefit of the two peoples.
Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the government of Omer al-Bashir that faces isolation from the West. However the level of economic cooperation between the two countries is very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400million.
Russia is a major weapons supplier to Sudan that fights a civil war on three fronts. But the value of Russian weapons to Sudan is usually kept secret.
Following a four- day meeting of the Sudanese-Russian Ministerial Committee for Economic, Commercial, Cultural and Technical Cooperation, on 15 December 2015 in Khartoum, Sudan and Russia signed 14 cooperation agreements in different domains, including oil, minerals and banks.
The agreements also include a concession contract between Sudan and the Russian Rus Geology to prospect for oil in Sudan’s Bloc E57 and another accord for the geological mapping of the Jabal Moya area, North Kordofan State.
Also, a controversial agreement was signed in July 2015 between Sudan and the little known Russian company Siberian for mining concessions in the Red Sea and River Nile states. President al-Bashir reportedly attended the signing ceremony which was not made public.
Al-Karouri announced at the time that the company discovered 46,000 tonnes of gold reserves in these two sites with a combined market value of $1.70 trillion.