The Briefing Room

General Category => World News => Topic started by: flowers on December 16, 2013, 04:49:11 PM

Title: Russia, Egypt Ink $2 Billion Weapons Deal
Post by: flowers on December 16, 2013, 04:49:11 PM

Russia has agreed to provide Egypt with more than $2 billion in military equipment under a new major arms deal, according to Russian language press reports.

The Egyptian military could purchase up to $2 billion worth of attack planes, air defenses, and short-range anti-tank missiles, according to the Russian newspaper Vedomosti, which quoted sources in Moscow’s Defense Ministry and elsewhere.

The deal was announced days after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu concluded a series of high-level meetings in Egypt.

The boost in ties between Moscow and Cairo comes as U.S. and Egyptian ties disintegrate following the Obama administration’s decision to cut military aid to the struggling nation following a coup in July.

Russia has also grown closer to Iran in recent weeks.

Egypt will likely obtain weaponry that it had been denied by the United States, according to Mikhail Margelov, the chair of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who publicly discussed the arms deal late last week.

Egypt had relied on the United States for F-16 jets and other types of advanced warplanes to fight terrorists in the disputed Sinai region and elsewhere.

Egypt is now turning to Russia for MiG-29 planes, anti-missile systems, and an assortment of anti-tank weapons that can be used to “disperse demonstrations,” according to Russian media reports.

“We continued discussion of projects on military and military-technical cooperation, agreed that in the near future we will take steps on the legal framing of our agreements,” Shoigu was quoted as saying in the Russia press following last week’s discussions in Cairo.

Russia and Egypt will work quickly to fully enact the military pact, according to Shoigu, who met face-to-face with Egypt’s ruling General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.