Egypt will receive two out of a 26 Sukhoi-35 fighter jets deal early next year, the Russian Expert magazine said.
Despite the American opposition of the deal, Cairo has agreed with Russia to get 26 Sukhoi-35 fighter jets over several batches starting next year, according to the Russian magazine.
The report suggested that Egyptian authorities do not care for American opposition, as the Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki said that the progress Egypt has made in all areas of military cooperation with Russia confirms the country’s desire to further develop this collaboration.
Even the Egyptian embassy in Moscow said that the purchase of Russian weapons is a strategic issue and will be completed regardless of any external pressure because it fully achieves the country’s national interests, according to the report.
Last week, the Russian Foreign Ministry described the US threat to impose sanctions on Egypt in case it concluded the Russian Su-35 fighter jets deal, as “aggressive behavior.”
“We have been alerted by direct threats from US officials to impose sanctions on Egypt on the grounds that Cairo could get the Su-35 fighter jets,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova told reporters at earlier press conference.
According to Russia Today, Zakharova noted that such behavior is “a Washington style”, in which it tries to hinder the development of relations between Russia and other countries.
She added, “When the concept of isolating Russia failed, US moved to Plan B and simply began to intervene in all available means, using all tools and mechanisms including military-technical cooperation.”
“Washington is trying to catch two birds with one stone: hurting Russia and the imposition of US weapons on foreign buyers,” Zakharova added.
Meanwhile, the US State Department officially announced that Egypt’s purchase of Russian fighter jets would put Cairo at risk of sanctions, Reuters reported.
Moreover, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs, Rene Clarke Cooper, said, “Egypt is aware of these risks,” at the recent Dubai Airshow.
The Wall Street Journal has revealed that US Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have warned Egypt against buying Russian Su-35 fighter jets.
In a warning to Cairo, the two ministers said that “new and large arms deals with Russia will at least affect future defense cooperation agreements between the United States and Egypt, and aid Egypt in ensuring its security,” the newspaper said.
Egypt responded to the US’s threats through exclusive statements dedicated to Daily News Egypt last week, an Egyptian high-ranking state official asserted that Egypt is an “independent state that does not take orders from any other country with regards to its foreign and domestic policies.
The official told Daily News Egypt that what is being reported about US warnings to Egypt to suspend the Su-35 deal with Russia is ‘meaningless’ and should not be taken seriously, asserting that the deal will continue and will not be suspended under any circumstances.
“Egypt does not interfere in any country’s domestic or foreign affairs; likewise we do not allow any other country, policymaker, or whoever to interfere in its internal or foreign affairs. Egypt considers this as an infringement of sovereign rights, which is a red line for us,” the official added.
The official noted that the Egyptian foreign policy has pursued various sources of armament in recent years, and accordingly has military relations with different arms manufacturers’ countries.