President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin witnessed Monday the signing of the agreement between the two countries to begin the construction of the Dabaa nuclear plant and provide it with nuclear fuel.
Egypt’s Minister of Electricity Mohamed Shakir represented Egypt in signing the agreement, while the General Director of Rosatom company Alexey Likhachev represented the Russian side.
In September, Al-Sisi announced that Egypt finalised the arrangements of the agreement to establish the plant. In 2015, Egypt and Russia signed an agreement to establish Dabaa nuclear plant. The agreement stipulated that Russia will provide Egypt with 80% of its components, while Egypt will provide the remaining 20%
The Dabaa project will eventually consist of eight nuclear stations, according to the agreement.
On Monday, Rosatom announced that the nuclear plant will cost about $21bn and is predicted to be finished in 2028-2029, Reuters reported.
During a press conference following the meeting, Al-Sisi said that he discussed with his Russian counterpart ways of developing bilateral relations between the two countries regarding mutual manufacturing, food security, and boosting commercial exchange, as well as attracting Russian investments to Egypt through establishing a Russian industrial zone in the planned Suez Canal Economic Zone.
The Egyptian president asserted the necessity of maintaining the status of Jerusalem and not exacerbating the situation in the Middle East through taking decisions that escalate tensions and hinder peace opportunities in the region. He also praised Russian efforts in settling the Palestinian issue.
Al-Sisi stressed the strength of relations between Russia and Egypt and their coordination on all regional issues. He added that his meeting with Putin included agreeing to assign the concerned ministers in the two countries to follow the mutual projects to facilitate their implementation.
The Russian president said he briefed his Egyptian counterpart on the recent situation in Syria and his meeting with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in Hmeimim, the Russian military base in Syria, as well as his meetings with Turkish and Iranian leaders regarding steps to a political settlement in Syria.
Putin also praised the level of relations between the two countries, stressing that Russia is ready to provide Egypt with all its needs for wheat. He pointed out that the Egyptian market consumed about 5.5 million tonnes of Russian wheat in the past nine months, and commercial exchange between the Cairo and Moscow doubled to about $4bn in the current year.
“We stressed the importance of continuing negotiations for establishing a free trade zone between Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Commission,” said Putin. He added that Egypt will receive the latest and safest technologies for the Dabaa nuclear plant after its establishment.