Russia and Egypt are working on the conclusion of a major arms deal. This was confirmed by a source close to the sphere of military-technical cooperation.
The Russian media reported that during the Egypt Foreign and Defense Ministers’ visit to Moscow the arms contracts worth about $ 3 billion were agreed on. On their turn, the Cairo media reported about the Egyptian army’s intention to acquire air defense systems from Russia, as well as attack helicopters, fighter jets and anti-tank complexes. According to the media, Saudi Arabia and the UAE expressed their readiness to finance the deal.
This is the first visit of two key Egyptian ministers to Moscow for 40 years. It can be called a return visit to the Russian Defense and Foreign Ministers’ visit to Cairo in November.
This visit is to some extent a response to the U.S. freezing of military cooperation with Egypt.
Today in Moscow, Russian Defense Minister Gen. Sergei Shoigu met with the minister of defense and military industry, chairman of the Supreme Military Council of Egypt Marshal Abdel Fattah Sayed Es-Sisi , and also participated in the work of the defense and foreign ministries of Russia and Egypt in “2+2” format.
The sides discussed the situation in the sphere of global and regional security, primarily in the Middle East and North Africa, prospects for the further development of relations between Russia and Egypt, including in the field of military and military-technical cooperation.
The Head of the Russian Defense Ministry said that Russia is very closely monitoring the situation in Egypt. “We are interested for Egypt to be a country with a strong army, steadily growing economy and effectively functioning democratic government,” – said Sergei Shoigu.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that cooperation between Russia and Egypt will reach $ 5 billion of turnover. He said that at a meeting with the foreign and defense ministers of the two countries.
“Over the recent years, we had a marked increase in turnover, but , unfortunately, in the past year, we noted the recession,” – said the head of the Russian state. ” I am confident that we can not only overcome it, but also reach new frontiers, say, of $ 5 billion,” – Putin suggested, noting that today the trade turnover is about $ 3 billion.
Putin paid special attention the tourism industry. According to him, the number of Russian tourists in Egypt declined from about 2.4 million to 1.5 million people last year. “This million people went to other countries in the region”, – said the president, referring primarily to Turkey. “But I hope that Egypt will restore its position in this very important area of the economy”, – he said.