Meeting for talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Ivanov, Defence Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh of the Sudan spoke highly of Russia-made military hardware adopted in the armed forces of the Sudan. He also referred to Russia as one of the greatest powers of the world playing a major role in maintaining the equilibrium on the planet. According to General Saleh, the purpose of his visit to Russia is to develop strategic relations between the armed forces of the two countries. He noted that many Sudanese military had once studied in Russia, had a good command of the Russian language and handled Russian equipment perfectly. Citing the fact that the country's economic growth has been on the rise since the discovery of oil deposits in the Sudan, he welcomed cooperation with Russian oil companies.