Russia is reportedly in talks with autonomous Somaliland in Somalia to establish a 1500-man naval base. However, reports from sources close to the Somaliland leadership that the breakaway republic gave one condition to Russia that they recognize her independence from Somalia.
The rumored location of the potential base is outside of Zeila city, near the border with Djibouti.
If that happens, Moscow, which under Vladimir Putin has recognized two breakaway republics on the territory of the former Soviet space and promoted secessionist movements in Europe and the United States, would send a powerful signal that it is now prepared to get involved with secessionist groups in Africa, which are both numerous and troublesome.
Russia joins the list of world superpowers seeking to establish bases in the Horn of Africa region in what is being viewed as a strategic advantage because of the proximity to the Middle East.
The base would be home for two minesweepers, four frigates, and two submarines, a reflection of Russia’s inability to build larger ships. It would also have two long runways capable of handling up to six military transport jets and 15 fighters, the Russian media say. Moscow reportedly has offered 250 million US dollars in investment.