Boycotted by the U.S., Egypt turns to Russia for advanced fighters
With an increasingly tough boycott by Washington against the Egyptian military government, Cairo has turned to Moscow for big item weapons purchases by signing a whopping $3 billion arms deal.
The news was announced after the two countries' foreign and defense ministers met in Moscow and signed the deal on Feb. 13. The list of weapons includes MiG 29M/M2 combat aircraft, Mi-35 military helicopters and several missile defense systems.
After the toppling of the Mubarak regime, the U.S. has held an unsteady relationship with the strategically important but politically unstable Egyptian government.
After Mohammed Morsi was ousted in a coup, the U.S. government suspended the annual $1.5 billion aid to Cairo. The sales and upgrades of F-16s have also been held in jeopardy.
President Vladimir Putin was delighted to regain some of the lost Russian share of the arms market in the Middle East and North Africa. He met with the visiting Egyptian foreign and defense ministers and showered them with praise.