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Ukraine diplomat calls on Egypt to take a tougher stance on Russia

March 7, 2022 at 12:46 pm

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) on October 24, 2019 [SERGEI CHIRIKOV/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt’s foreign ministry has objected to comments made by the Ukrainian Charge d’Affairs in Cairo in which he criticised Egypt’s position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Ruslan Nichai called on Egypt to take a clearer position on the invasion.

Nichai said that Ukraine has supported Egypt by supplying it with wheat and contributing towards its tourist industry, including allowing Ukrainians to continue to visit Egypt at a time when Russia banned flights.

In 2015, after a Daesh affiliated group downed a Russian airliner killing all 224 Russian passengers on board, Moscow barred direct flights to the Red Sea making a dent in Egypt’s tourism revenues.

Nichai also called on Egypt to supply Ukraine with weapons and take a tougher stance on Russia.

In response, Egypt has asked Nichai to revise his comments.

READ: Rise in oil prices is negatively affecting Egypt, says petroleum minister

Along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE, last Wednesday Egypt voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution demanding Russia halt its use of force and withdraw from Ukraine.

However, Egypt has said it will not impose economic sanctions on Russia despite pressure from its key ally the US to do so.

“Egypt opposes the method of employment of economic sanctions outside international mechanisms… past experiences [of sanctions] have had extremely negative effects on ordinary people,” its permanent representative said at the General Assembly after the vote.

Egypt has also been under pressure from Russia to take its side whilst G7 ambassadors demanded greater support from Egypt at the UN General Assembly vote.

Egypt is thought to be keen to protect economic and military ties with Russia, who has sold SU-35 fighter jets to Egypt and is building its first nuclear power station.

Egypt relies on Russia for wheat imports, tourists, and has already said that the soaring price of oil, driven up by the crisis, is negatively affecting the country.