The presidents of Russia and Egypt participated in a ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of Egypt’s El Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant (NPP), Anadolu Agency reports.
Vladimir Putin and Abdelfattah Al Sisi poured concrete into the foundation of the plant via video link.
Putin said the joint project will contribute to the development of the Egyptian economy, provide it with additional energy resources and contribute to building new enterprises and employment generation.
He noted that Russia and Egypt have a long history of industrial cooperation, implemented joint projects, including the Aswan Dam and continue serving the Egyptian people.
“Egypt is indeed our close friend and strategic partner. We cooperate on the principles of equality, mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests,” he said.
The Russian leader said bilateral trade between Russia and Egypt grew 20 per cent in the past 10 months.
Egypt’s accession to the BRICS economic bloc opens new possibilities for cooperation, he said.
“During the Russian presidency of the BRICS this year, we will try to do everything possible to ensure that Egypt is effectively integrated into the work of the association,” he said.
Putin invited Sisi to attend the BRICS summit in the Russian city of Kazan later this year, noting that in general, he expects Egypt’s participation in more than 200 BRICS events scheduled for the year.
“In general, Mr. Sisi and I are in constant contact. Last year, we met during the second Russia-Africa summit. We regularly discuss all the most important issues on the international and regional agenda for our countries,” he said.
The Russian President noted that one of the topics in recent contacts with Sisi is the situation in the Gaza Strip which has been pummelled by more than three months of Israeli attacks.
“We exchange views and coordinate positions in connection with the tragic development of the situation in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. We are solving humanitarian issues,” he said.
The Rosatom State Corporation is building Egypt’s first nuclear power plant in the town of El Dabaa in accordance with the 2015 Russian-Egyptian inter-governmental agreement. There are plans to build four power units with a total capacity of 4,800 megawatts.