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Ukraine asks Egypt for weapons, humanitarian and medical aid

March 9, 2022 at 2:13 pm

Humanitarian aid sent to Ukraine on February 27, 2022 [Menelaos Myrillas/Anadolu Agency]

The Ukrainian Charge d’Affaires in Egypt, Ruslan Nechai, has asked Cairo for weapons, financial support and humanitarian aid as some 1,335 civilians have been killed almost two weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.

“It is in Egypt’s best interest that the war ends,” Nechai said. “We need Egypt to offer us humanitarian and medical aid, and help us with weapons, at its own discretion. Egypt’s food security depends on Ukraine to a large extent.”

The diplomat’s comments follow a disagreement between the two countries after Nechai called on Egypt to abandon its neutrality.

Nichai said that Ukraine supports Egypt by supplying it with wheat and contributing towards its tourist industry, including allowing Ukrainians to continue to visit Egypt after Russia banned flights following a terror attack in 2015.

The Ukrainian diplomat reiterated his comments in the Al-Monitor interview: “Egypt imports wheat, corn, and sunflower seed oil from Ukraine. As we speak, cargoes can no longer be transported via the Black Sea, which catapulted prices of imported materials to unprecedented levels. The price of a tonne of wheat almost doubled from $230 to $450.”

READ: Meat prices to rise 50% in Egypt, says official

“Vessel insurance companies also raised their prices. Moreover, cooperation in the field of tourism will take a bad hit. In 2021, around 1.3 million Ukrainian tourists visited Egypt,” he added.

“Now, the Ukraine airspace is closed for civil aviation and there will be no Ukrainian tourism to Egypt. Meanwhile, the Russians will be under great economic pressure considering the imposed economic sanctions, which would block the flow of Russian tourists to Egypt.”

Last week, members of the G7 also called on Egypt to condemn the Russian invasion in a “clear and unanimous condemnation” warning as well of economic consequences including the rise in the price of wheat.

Egypt imports roughly 80 per cent of its wheat from Russia and Ukraine and it is predicted that the crisis will cost Cairo $955 million in wheat import bills.

Whilst Egypt is under pressure from the Western countries who it relies on for investment and loans to condemn Russia, it is also under pressure from Russia, with whom it has military and economic ties and depends on for wheat and tourism, to take its side.