(Bloomberg) -- Sudan’s army said it’s poised to get weapons from Russia in return for letting Moscow establish a military fueling station on the Red Sea coast, a blow for the US as its opponents gain influence in the African country torn apart by civil war.

A military delegation will travel to Russia within a few days to conclude the deal, assistant commander-in-chief Yasser Al-Atta told the Gulf-based Al-Hadath TV channel on Saturday. Authorities will get “vital weapons and munitions,” he said, describing the planned Russian outpost as “not exactly a military base.”

Moscow has long coveted a foothold on Sudan’s 530-mile (853 kilometer) coastline, and a final agreement would stoke Western concerns over the country’s growing influence in Africa. 

The announcement comes as Sudan’s army strives to regain swathes of territory lost to the Rapid Support Forces militia in a war that erupted in April 2023 and may have killed as many as 150,000 people.

Read More: Sudan Ravaged by a Civil War the World Has Overlooked: QuickTake

A Russian naval base was first mooted during the reign of veteran Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, but after his ouster in a 2019 popular uprising the US and others moved to reestablish full relations and secure a new ally in a tumultuous region.

The brutal conflict has upset those calculations, increasingly drawing in foreign actors and sparking angst in Western capitals. The United Arab Emirates has been accused of providing weapons to the RSF group that’s fighting the army — allegations it denies.

Meanwhile, Iran, once an ally of Bashir’s Islamist regime, has this year provided armed drones to Sudan’s military in a move that helped it seize back large parts of the capital, Khartoum, Bloomberg News has reported.

The acting foreign minister of Sudan’s army-backed government, Hussein Awad Ali, visited his Iranian counterpart on Saturday, the state-run SUNA news agency reported. The two discussed increasing ties and reopening embassies, it said.

Al-Atta also told Al-Hadath that cooperation with Russia should extend beyond the military sector and include mining, gold, ports, manufacturing and agriculture. A ministerial delegation will also visit Russia to discuss those components, before any comprehensive deal is signed, he said. 

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