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Russia Navy frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov visits Eritrea for 1st time.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by Tass on March 28, 2024, the Pacific Fleet's Udaloy class frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov made its arrival in the Massawa port of Eritrea, located on the Red Sea coast. This visit is marked by the Eritrean Ministry of Information as a celebration of the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and the African nation.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Russian frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

The visit, which is set to last five days, was warmly welcomed by Eritrean government officials, Naval Command, and Defense Forces representatives at the Massawa port. The ceremony also saw the participation of Igor Mozgo, the Russian Ambassador to Asmara, who, along with Eritrean officials and military personnel, visited the ship.

Before reaching the Red Sea, the Pacific Fleet's task force, comprising the Slava class guided missile cruiser Varyag and the frigate Marshal Shaposhnikov, navigated through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait.

The crews had previously conducted a series of shipboard exercises in the Gulf of Aden, preparing for various scenarios against hypothetical adversaries. This visit not only commemorates three decades of diplomatic relations but also reinforces the commitment of Russia and Eritrea to maintain and strengthen their partnership.


The relationship between Russia and Eritrea in the area of defense and broader strategic cooperation is multifaceted, marked by military negotiations, economic ties, and diplomatic engagements. The cornerstone of this relationship is Russia's strategic interest in establishing a presence in the Red Sea region.

Military cooperation between Russia and Eritrea is underscored by Russia's role as a significant arms supplier to Africa, with military equipment transactions forming a key component of their bilateral relations.

In 2019, negotiations were initiated for Russia to establish a logistic center in Eritrea, aimed at bolstering military and logistical capabilities in the Horn of Africa region.

Eritrea's strategic importance is further amplified by its proximity to the Red Sea, a region where close to 15% of global trade transits. The ports of Massawa and Assab, alongside the offshore Dahlak Archipelago, have been identified as areas of interest for Russian naval planners. This interest is not new; historical attempts by Russia to establish a naval presence in the region date back to the Cold War era.

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