by: Brian Schrauger, Bridges for Peace News Bureau Chief
Egyptian President Sisi was in Moscow in May to participate in celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945.
According to the Jerusalem Post (JPost), Sisi met with Russia’s President Putin. In that meeting, he “expressed his desire to strengthen cooperation between the nations.” Putin reciprocated the sentiment, complimenting “Sisi’s efforts to ‘solve Egypt’s crisis.’” He also said that Russia “would continue to back Egypt.”
JPost noted that “Sisi’s visit was the latest in a series of moves hinting at the strengthening of ties between Russia and Egypt.” In fact, “Russia was the first foreign nation Sisi visited following his reelection last year.”
The real attraction driving Egypt into a Russian bear hug is development of its own nuclear program. Along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt is pursuing rapid development of technology for possible development of nuclear weapons. It is a race that has all but begun as a result of Iran’s significant progress in pursuit of this same goal. If Iran succeeded in building a nuclear arsenal, it would pose a direct threat to other Arab nations in the Middle East.
On 10 February this year, Putin announced that his country would help Egypt build “a whole new nuclear power industry.”
In the early 1990s, Iran began its nuclear program in a similar partnership with Moscow. Russia is one member of the six-member international group, the P5+1 [China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus Germany], negotiating with Iran to prevent its acquisition of nuclear weapons. At the same time, it remains Iran’s strongest partner in development of weapons-grade nuclear technology. It now appears that, along with Saudi Arabia, Russia is partnering with Egypt to do the same thing.
Photo Credit: Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo/wikipedia.org
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