Egypt has been fighting an Islamist militant insurgency in North Sinai
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R)
Egypt plans to buy large amounts of modern and advanced weapons from Russia, the Russian defence ministry said on Wednesday.
Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu ordered federal service for military-technical cooperation to rapidly respond to an Egyptian request to buy armaments, Russian Interfax agency reported.
It’s not yet known what type of weapons Egypt plans to buy.
Shoigu’s announcement comes after a two-day visit to Egypt, where he met Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi on Tuesday in Cairo. The meeting was attended by the Egyptian defence minister, the Russian deputy defence minister, and the Russian ambassador to Cairo.
During his meeting with El-Sisi, the Russian defence minister said Russia appreciates Egypt’s role in achieving security and stability in the region, according to a statement released by the Egyptian presidency.
He also affirmed that Russia is keen to continue cooperation with Egypt in all areas, especially in the military field, highlighting the importance of unified efforts by the international community in combating terrorism.
Russian news agency TASS quoted the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, who said that Russia will respond in coming weeks to Egypt’s armaments and combat hardware requests.
"The plan is that we must give an answer to all the requests of our Egyptian friends in the coming weeks," Antonov said.
The Russian defence minister and his Egyptian counterpart agreed to maintain close contact and keep the issues of military and technical cooperation "under personal control," Antonov said.
Russian media reports said earlier that Russia may sign a deal with Egypt for the delivery of Kamov Ka-52K helicopters developed for the Mistral-class amphibious ships and the corresponding equipment. Chief of the Kremlin Staff Sergey Ivanov said the sum of the deal might exceed $1 billion.The Russian delegation’s visit comes less than a week after the two countries signed the Dabaa nuclear plant deal, which involves the building of four third-generation reactors in Egypt.
Egypt is carrying out an investigation into the crash of a Russian airliner that was downed in central Sinai on 31 October, killing all 224 people on board. Cairo has accepted Russian participation in the inquiry.
Russia claims that a bomb caused the crash, but Egyptian authorities have not confirmed this, saying the investigation is ongoing.