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Egypt turns to Russia to buy $4 billion weapons supplies

February 5, 2014 at 2:11 am

Russian media said on Friday that Moscow is ready to send $4 billion advanced weapons supplies to Cairo if the latter is able to pay for the purchases, Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboron Export said.

Commenting on the issue, Egyptian media said that Cairo is experiencing an unprecedented financial crisis, but it is reinforcing relations with Russia in order to gain recognition of the military coup.

Earlier last month, Russia said that it would only deal with the legitimate government in Egypt.

Coup authorities increased contacts with the Russians and said they were ready to franchise Russia to build a military base either in the Red Sea or the Mediterranean to replace the threatened military base in Tartoos of the Syrian coasts.

Egypt is turning towards Russia for military assistance to meet its security needs, following the partial suspension of military aid and equipment deliveries from the United States.

Speaking to Russian media, the Rosoboron Export official said: “We are ready to negotiate with the Egyptian side the possibility of deliveries of new weaponry as well as repairing equipment supplied in Soviet times.”

He said such new deliveries would depend on Egypt’s ability to pay for them. But he noted, “Moscow is ready to discuss with Cairo a possible loan to that country.”

It is noteworthy to say that Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich announced early on Friday that the Russian defence minister and foreign minister would meet with their Egyptian counterparts during their visit to Egypt on November 13-14.

According to Russian media, the Russian delegation set to visit Cairo would include the first deputy director of the Federal Service on Military-Technical Cooperation, Andrei Boitsov, and Rosoboron Export officials.

“The upcoming visit will help us to outline the prospects of our cooperation,” the Rosoboron Export source said.

For the military base, media said that Russia is to choose either to have it in Al-Sowees on the Red Sea or Port Said on the Mediterranean.