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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Renews Sudan Links, Signs Deal for Dam on Nile

KHARTOUM -- Sudan and Russia, renewing links that existed with the former Soviet Union, have signed a $100 million deal to build a dam on the Nile.

In a pattern similar to its policy regarding Iran, Russia has been seeking business with Sudan while the U.S. government has condemned the Sudanese regime as a supporter of terrorism.

In the project announced Monday, the Kajbar Dam will be built in Shamalia province, 300 kilometers north of Khartoum.The dam is designed to increase wheat production and provide electricity.

The dam will be built by an offshoot of the Russian government's hydrological institute and it will be funded by contributions from private Sudanese citizens, mostly from expatriates in the Gulf.

It was not clear how much of the money has been raised.

The dam, expected to be finished in three years, will increase the amount of land for planting wheat in Shamalia province, the official Sudan News Agency reported.

It will provide up to 300 megawatts of electricity.

This is the latest sign of increased cooperation between Sudan and Russia.

Relations with the former Soviet Union turned sour after former president Gaafar Nimeiri headed off a communist-led coup in 1971 and executed its leaders. Nimeiri was staunchly pro-United States.

However, relations between Washington and the fundamentalist Islamic regime of military leader Lieutenant General Omar Hassan el-Bashir have grown steadily worse since el-Bashir seized power in a bloodless coup in 1989.

In the past month, senior military and foreign affairs officials from Russia have visited Khartoum.

A high-level Sudanese delegation is due to visit Moscow later this month to explore other fields of cooperation.