Bilateral relations

Russian-Sudanese relations

Diplomatic relations between the USSR and Sudan were established on January 5, 1956.In the 1960s bilateral relations successfully developed on the basis of long-term agreements signed at that time. Landmark high-ranking visits were to add dynamics to the rising relations. In July 1961 Lt.General Ibrahim Abboud, the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Prime Minister of Sudan, paid a historic, first ever, visit to the USSR.  

In November 1961 Mr.Leonid Brezhnev, the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, visited Sudan at the head of the government delegation.

In November 1969, General Jaafar Nimeiry, the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council and the Prime Minister of Sudan, was on an official visit to the Soviet Union.

Due to the course taken by Nimeiry later in the 1970s bilateral relations with Sudan were coagulated. After the 1985 coup, the Soviet-Sudanese interaction was gradually restored. In 1986 Mr.Sadiq Al-Mahdi, the Prime Minister of Sudan, paid an official visit to the USSR.

Following the USSR’s dissolution, Sudan recognized officially the Russian Federation and other CIS member states (on December 29, 1991).

In the post-Soviet period, the Russian-Sudanese relations have stood the test of time, reaching a level meeting the long-term interests of both countries. In November 2017, the head of the Sudanese state paid a working visit to Russia for the first time since early 70s.

Active foreign policy dialogue was organically complimented by mutually beneficial trade and economic ties and military-technical cooperation. The relationship between the two countries was cemented by coinciding views on the multipolar world order and inadmissibility of dictate and double standards in International relations. Russia proceeded from this position in the context of the settlement of the Darfur conflict in Sudan.

In April 2019 the then ruling Transitional Military Council announced the continuity in Sudan’s relations with Moscow. For its turn, Russia supported the choice made by the Sudanese people themselves in respect to the rule during the transition period and the formation of transitional authorities.   

On October 23, 2019 the heads of the two states Mr.Vladimir Putin, the President of the Russian Federation, and First Lt.General Abdelfattah Al-Burhan, the Chairman of the Transitional Sovereign Council of Sudan, met on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi.

Contacts between representatives of the leadership of the two countries have a regular character. In September 2019 on the initiative of the Sudanese side Mr.Abdalla Hamdok, the Prime Minister of Sudan, met Mr.Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, on the sidelines of the 74th UN General Assembly session in New York. The two officials also met in February 2020 on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference.

Since 2010, the Higher Russian-Sudanese Working Committee (HRSWC) has been functioning as the main mechanism for foreign policy consultations and coordination of the work on multi-profile cooperation. As of 2020, eight HRSWC meetings have been held (convocation - annually), the last – in December 2019 in Moscow, co-chaired by Mr.Mikhail Bogdanov, the Special Representative of the President of Russia for the Middle East and African countries and Deputy Foreign Minister. In February 2020, within the framework of the Working Committee there were held consultations in Khartoum on regional issues with the participation of Mr.Alexander Kinschak, the Director of the Middle East and North Africa Department of the Russian MFA.

In line with political dialogue and interaction bilateral economic ties are well underway. At the present stage, they are promoted based on the 1998 Intergovernmental Agreement on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation.

The key support mechanism for these ties is the Russian-Sudanese Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation (established in 2013). Its last 6th meeting was held on December 10-12, 2018 in Moscow. Next in turn is the 7th meeting to be held in Khartoum (it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic). The Commission’s co-chairmen for the Russian part is Mr.Altxander Kozlov, Minister of Natural Resources and Ecology.

The Russian-Sudanese Business Council was established in 2010 under the Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to help to promote bilateral trade and economic relations. With its participation the first business forum “Russia-Sudan. New horizons for cooperation” was held in Khartoum in March 2020.

At present, bilateral trade and economic relations are comprehensive. A number of projects with the Russian investments are being implemented in Sudan in the sector of mining and subsoil use. There are other promising areas and directions of cooperation in the energy, communications and other fields.

The volume of bilateral trade in 2020 amounted to $374.68 million, in 2019 - $275.1 million, The difficulties experienced by Sudan affected economic ties. Anyhow, the Russian exports to Sudan represent 99.9 % of the turnover. In terms of structure, 90 % fall on food and agricultural products. Main export items are: cereals (wheat and meslin (wheat-rye mixture, usually in a two to one ratio) - 74.4 %, vegetable and animal oils, fats - 15.1 %, pharmaceutical products - 2.24 %, printing products industry - 1.64 %.

The education and training continue to be traditional areas of cooperation. For the entire period of bilateral relations about 4 thousand Sudanese citizens received higher education in the Soviet / Russian universities. At present, 35 scholarships are provided for Sudan annually within the framework of country quotas allocated by the Russian Government at the expense of the federal budget.