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politics

Russia in Talks With Sudan Military, Opposition to Defuse Crisis

Russia in Talks With Sudan Military, Opposition to Defuse Crisis

  • Moscow urges deal on political transition before elections
  • Russian official condemns role of ‘extremists, provocateurs’
Members of Sudan's security forces patrol in Khartoum on June 6.

Members of Sudan's security forces patrol in Khartoum on June 6.

Photographer: – AFP via Getty Images 

Members of Sudan's security forces patrol in Khartoum on June 6.

Photographer: – AFP via Getty Images 

Russia said it’s in talks with Sudan’s ruling military and the opposition in a bid to help defuse the standoff that’s led to a violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators.

It urged the two sides to reach a deal on a political transition before elections are held.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Thursday that Moscow is in contact with both sides and is calling for the crisis to be resolved “on the basis of national dialogue and through finding compromise decisions on the interim period that should lead to elections,” state news service RIA Novosti said.

At the same time, Bogdanov said it’s necessary to wage a “fight against extremists and provocateurs.”

Russia had close ties with the ousted regime of longtime Sudanese President Oman al-Bashir, and private Russian military contractors have been training Sudanese forces. On Tuesday, Moscow blocked a United Nations Security Council statement circulated by the U.K. and Germany condemning the killing of civilians and urging a rapid solution to the crisis.

The crackdown on a long-running sit-in in the capital, Khartoum, on Monday killed more than 100 people, according to a doctors’ group. The day after the assault, Sudan’s ruling military transitional council announced plans for elections within nine months after negotiations to hand power to a civilian government broke down.