LONDON, October 27 (Itar-Tass) - Egyptian authorities are highly interested in large-scale purchases of weaponry from Russia in the wake of U.S. decision to suspend “the delivery of certain large-scale military systems” to Cairo, The Sunday Times said.
It indicated that the Egyptian military might want to get the Russian warplanes efficiently operating at low altitudes and top-notch antitank missiles. Also, they have interest in the modernization of Soviet-era tanks that are still found on the Egyptian Army’s inventory.
The newspaper recalls that the U.S. Administration froze at the beginning of this month the supplies of Apache strike helicopter, Harpoon anti-ship cruise missiles, F-16 fighter jets, and spare parts for tanks.
Simultaneously, Washington refused to remit $ 260 million in financial assistance to the Egyptian Armed Forces, the article says.
It quotes a respected Egyptian analyst, Moataz Bellah Abdel-Fattah as saying a vacuum has emerged in Egypt’s strategic policies and Russia has gotten an opportunity to fill it.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdel-Ati says at the same time that Cairo’s policy after June 30 consists in creating the relationships of equitable partnership, not in maintaining the inequitable relations of a donor and a recipient.
The Sunday Times notes along with it that Russia, too, has obvious interests in consolidating its positions on the Egyptian soil.
“The U.S. is in retreat all over the Middle East: Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, and the Russians are stepping in and intend to stay,” the newspaper quoted a well-informed Israeli security source.