Brain Bush’s Blog

Russia In Egypt

  • By : Brian Bush
  • February 10, 2015
  • 5:52 pm

Hello Everyone,

Egypt is hosting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The State visit is important to both countries – but more so to their leaders.

Russia and Egypt have a long history together in modern times.

Today, Egypt wants Russian military hardware, which Russia is happy to sell amidst the sanctions the international community has in place for their actions in Crimea and the Ukraine.

Mr. Putin also wants to expand his influence in the Middle East and North Africa in light of the turmoil in Syria and Libya.

For Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Mr. Putin is a long time supporter who brings with him credibility in his approval of handling the borderline volatile landscape Egypt now is.

Key to the visit was the signing of an energy deal that will see Russia share in the building and running of a nuclear power plant for Egypt.

As America had stepped back from Egypt in 2013, due to the violent crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi, it shelved military aid to the country – and it's influence.

Feeling that America did not understand the dynamics of Egypt and the terrorism within, Mr. Sisi accepted Russia's overtures to fill in.

Russia, having often handled dissident actions within it's borders, has indeed stepped up and provided traction for the new Sisi Government and the county's development.

Mr. Sisi has long said he intends to fix Egypt's economy, and hosting Mr. Putin gave Egyptians the chance to hear how trade with Russia has been increased by 80% over the last year.

But the largest development by far is a deal worked by Russia's defense and foreign ministers with Egypt who visited Cairo back in November, 2014.

The two countries were reportedly close to signing a $3 billion dollar deal for Russian MiG-29 jet fighters and attack helicopters.

In addition to this large military exchange, there is little doubt as to the fresh leader being tutored in geopolitics from the experienced Putin.

Egypt has many challenges on it's borders with instability in Libya, containment of Hamas, and internal dissatisfaction by a majority of it's citizens.

But the crisis burning right now is in Northern Sinai as Islamic State seeks to strengthen its presence.

10 men were beheaded recently for allegedly being spies for both Egypt and Israel.

This comes after Egypt has taken military action against the jihadists, who have carried out multiple coordinated attacks on police and army in the area causing significant loss of life.

Mr. Sisi will no doubt be seeking to strengthen his image and abilities in light of Mr. Putin's visit and the challenges his government faces.

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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