Back to the complete issue
Sunday, 17 November 2019

Is Egypt risking US sanctions again with potential warplane purchase from Russia?

Egypt risks US sanctions with potential purchase of Russian arms: The US could move to impose sanctions on Egypt over an agreement that would see Cairo purchase Russian warplanes in a USD 2 bn transaction, according to a letter seen by the Wall Street Journal. “Major new arms [agreements] with Russia could — at a minimum — complicate future US defense transactions with and security assistance to Egypt,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in the letter. The warning comes after Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu met with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki here in Cairo, calling for “closer” military ties between Egypt and Russia.

Background: In August 2017, the US had decided to withhold USD 95.7 mn in aid and delayed another USD 195 mn in military assistance, citing human rights concerns. Analysts speculated at the time that move was aimed more at curbing Egypt’s alleged ties to North Korea, especially considering the improvement in US-Egypt ties following Donald Trump’s election. The US government decided last July to release the USD 195 mn it had delayed, saying that Egypt had taken steps to address US concerns.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2021 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of Commercial International Bank (tax ID: 204-891-949), the largest private-sector bank in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; and Act Financial (tax ID: 493-924-612), the leading activist investor in Egypt; and Abu Auf (tax ID: 584-628-846), the leading health foodmaker in Egypt and the region.