Sudan pressures the US by threatening Russian naval base on the Red Sea

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  • The US will probably remove Sudan from the SST before end-December, owing to sustained progress in counter-terrorism co-operation and on regional security.
  • Although President Bashir asked for Russia’s support against alleged “US aggressive acts” on 23 November, this is likely intended to provide counter-leverage in negotiations over Sudan’s delisting, and incentivise the US to accelerate the process to prevent the establishment of a Russian naval presence in the Red Sea.
  • Although Sudan’s removal would simplify compliance processes for Western banks, related-party transactions would grow more slowly due to the continuing risks of money laundering and persistence of targeted sanctions.