Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Sudanese officials on Thursday as part of an African tour aimed at expanding influence at a time when Western nations have moved to isolate Moscow through sanctions over the Ukraine conflict.
Lavrov arrived in Khartoum late Wednesday, hoping to strengthen commercial connections between the two countries, particularly in infrastructure, according to state news agency SUNA. Lavrov’s travels have also taken him to Iraq, Mauritania, and Mali, and he recently visited South Africa.
Sudan was shut off from international financing worth billions of dollars when military commanders deposed a Western-backed transitional government in 2021.
Sudanese authorities also hosted envoys from the United States, the United Kingdom, and France this week, who are backing discussions to build a new democratic civilian government in Sudan.
Sudan’s ruling military council has already discussed allowing Russia to establish a naval facility on the Red Sea coast, a critical territory contested by Gulf countries and Turkey.
Western countries are concerned about Russia’s growing influence in the Sahel region of Africa and its border territories.
Sudan courted Russian backing in the final years before ousting former President Omar al-Bashir in a 2019 rebellion.
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