Official Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Daily News Egypt on Wednesday that reports of an arms deal with Russia are not true, stressing that the recent visit by the Russian ministerial delegation was the beginning of the fledgling relationship between Egypt and Russia.
Badr Abdelatty said the quadrilateral meeting held between Egypt and Russia’s Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs last week showed that the “political will” for cooperation exists but dismissed the idea that Egypt is signing a $2bn deal for helicopters and air-defence systems, as has been reported recently in international media.
The spokesman said the Egyptian and Russian sides are looking to the next step of building relations which would include “establishing sub-committees” made up of senior officials to discuss the prospects for cooperation. He added “everything is possible,” pointing out that cooperation in areas of infrastructure, economy, military and security had been discussed by the ministers. Abdelatty added that the issue of developing Egypt’s nuclear energy falls under the category of infrastructure.
There was much speculation surrounding the visit of Sergey Lavrov and Sergei Shoigu, with many analysts suggesting that Egypt was turning to Russia to fill the void left by the United States’ decision to suspend the supply of military equipment to Egypt pending the installation of an elected government. Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy and Lavrov have both denied that this is the case. Fahmy has said that Egypt is exploring all options and is not replacing one country for another, a sentiment he reiterated to the US’ acting ambassador in Cairo last Saturday.