Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Friday that Sudanese President Omar Bashir invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit the country, the dates of the visit will be discussed via diplomatic channels.
On Thursday, Sudan’s state news agency SUNA reported that Putin had accepted an invitation by Bashir to visit Khartoum.
“Indeed, an invitation was accepted and indeed the president said that the possibility of such visit and its timeframes will be discussed via diplomatic channels,” Peskov told reporters.
Newsmen report that for decades, Russia and Sudan have maintained a strong economic and politically strategic
Due to solidarity with both the U. S. and with the Soviet Union and with the allies of the two nations,
Sudan declared neutrality and instead chose membership in the Non-Aligned Movement throughout the Cold War.
Russo-Sudanese relations were minorly damaged when, in 1971 members of the Sudanese Communist Party attempted
to assassinate then-president Gaafar Nimeiry, and Nimeiry pegged the blame on the USSR, thus enhancing Sudanese
relations with the West, and were damaged again when Sudan supported the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan
when the USSR invaded in 1979.
Due to a common enemy, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries dramatically got back on track during the
late 1990s and early 2000s, when Putin was elected the President, and then the Prime Minister of Russia,
and along with Chinese leader Hu Jintao opposed UN Peacekeepers in Darfur.
Russia strongly supports Sudan’s territorial integrity and opposes the creation of an independent Darfurian state.
Also, Russia is Sudan’s strongest investment partner (in Europe) and political ally in Europe, and Russia has
repeatedly and significantly regarded Sudan as an important global ally in the African continent.
For decades there have been Sudanese college students studying in Russian universities.
During the 2008 attack on Omdurman and Khartoum, Justice and Equality Movement rebels from Darfur killed a Russian
mercenary pilot by shooting his plane down when he tried to strafe them.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute reports that only eight per cent of Sudanese arms are Chinese, and that Russian arms actually make up the majority, at 87 per cent.
Russia is the major weapons supplier to the Sudan.