Khartoum is eager to expand trade ties with Moscow, the Sudanese ambassador to Russia has said
Sudan and Russia are mulling ways to switch to national currencies in mutual settlements, Sudanese ambassador to Russia, Hassan Mohammed Elghazali Eltijani Sirraj, has told RIA Novosti news agency.
According to the diplomat, the countries’ central banks are currently discussing the possibility.
“Russia has suggested to Sudan to use a system of financial transactions, in which we would use national currencies. This issue is being discussed by the central banks of both countries; we will see if this is possible. This is largely a technical issue. The central banks will study this issue, see how it actually works, and in the near future we should see the result,” Sirraj explained.
Russia has been actively moving away from the US dollar and euro in foreign trade for months, after Western sanctions against the country made the currencies unreliable. Instead, it has been expanding its circle of trade partners with whom settlements are made in national currencies.
According to Sirraj, Sudan is eager to expand trade ties with Russia and could become a hub for the sale of Russian products to other African nations due to its strategically convenient location. Sirraj noted that the trade turnover between the two countries has not yet reached “desirable” level, and urged closer economic ties between the countries.
“I believe that we can work together to develop our relations further in the future, especially since we have a solid foundation for this. In the near future, we would like to increase the level of our economic interaction. We would also like to open Russian markets for goods from Sudan, especially in the agricultural sector. In my opinion, today our trade turnover is not at a level that would be desirable – an increase would have a positive effect on both Russia and Sudan.”
The diplomat suggested that Sudan could supply Russian markets with good quality cotton, food supplements and seasonal fruits, while buying grain and oil from Moscow.
Khartoum is also interested in increasing cooperation with Russian businesses in mineral exploration and mining. According to Sirraj, a number of Russian exploration and mining companies are already operating in Sudan, and the African country expects to attract more Russian investments to the sector, with several agreements already under discussion.
Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Sudan, where he held talks with his Sudanese counterpart Ali Al-Sadiq and other top officials. Sirraj called Lavrov’s visit an important milestone in the development of Sudan-Russia bilateral relations.