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Russia says keen to promote investments in Sudan

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, (L), and Sudanese Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour meet in Moscow on 9 oct 2015 (Photo Sputnik/Vitaliy Belousov)
September 8, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said his country is keen to engage in joint investment projects with Sudan pointing that Moscow’s policy towards Khartoum is based on respect for the Sudanese sovereignty.

On Friday, Lavrov met with the deputy chairman of the higher committee for Sudan relations with China, India and Russia, Awad Ahmed Al-Jaz in Moscow.

Following the meeting, Russia’s news agency TASS quoted Lavrov as saying “we are interested in promoting the overall economic and trade relations [with Sudan] and implementing mutually beneficial projects”.

He added that Russia continued to urge the international community to deal justly with the Sudanese issues, saying we managed to reach an international agenda towards Sudan that is based on the on the established principles of the international law, the principle of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the country.

For his part, Al-Jaz said the continuation of contacts between Russia and Sudan is in the interest of both countries and peoples.

He thanked Russia for its continued support to Sudan in the international forums, saying they seek to make the Sudanese-Russian relations as a model for ties among the various nations.

In October 2016, Sudan’s Foreign Ministry said al-Bashir would pay a visit to Moscow by the end of 2016, but the visit didn’t take place.

Also, last July Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour said al-Bashir “will pay an important visit to the Russian Federation in the second half of August at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in order to strengthen bilateral relations between the two friendly countries at all levels”.

However, the visit was delayed again and no explanation has been made for the postponement of the visit.

Politically, Russia is seen as a major ally of the Sudanese government that faces isolation from the West.

However, economic cooperation between the two countries has remained very low, with a trade balance that does not exceed $400 million.

In December 2015, 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 Jebel Moya area, North Kordofan State.

Last November, Russia decided to withdraw its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the tribunal had failed to live up to hopes of the international community.

Russia was one of eleven countries at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) that voted in favour of referring the Darfur situation to the ICC in 2005.

Sudan welcomed Moscow’s move, saying it gives strong support to the African stance against the Hague-based tribunal which has charged al-Bashir with ten counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide connected to the Darfur conflict.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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