Russia transfers weapons through Egypt to Ukraine, Cairo ignores US appeals – WSJ

Yana Stavskaya19:06, 05/12/23

During two weeks in late April and early May, at least 7 Russian military flights were made to and from Syria.

Egypt, the world’s second largest recipient of US military aid, has ignored Washington’s request to close airspace to Russian military aircraft. According to the Wall Street Journal, in this regard, the Russians still have “loopholes” for the transfer of weapons from Syria against the backdrop of Ukraine’s preparations for a counteroffensive. 

After Turkey, Jordan and Iraq imposed restrictions in 2022, Russian aircraft bound for Syria had to fly up to 2,000 additional miles.

But Egypt eased the “hard fate” of the Russian occupiers and provided them with their own airspace for use. US officials say Russia used the flights to ferry weapons to Ukraine from Syria.

In February March, the United States appealed to Cairo with a request to close the airspace for the Russian military, such a measure, according to the Americans, would block Russia’s access to Syria. But Egypt has not responded to the request and continues to allow Russian flights.

Egypt’s role is critical due to its location at a strategic point connecting Africa and Asia. Its airspace also borders Greece, a NATO member.

Over the course of two weeks in late April and early May, at least 7 Russian military flights were made to and from Syria, according to flight data. Also in April, records show at least two An-124 cargo flights from southern Russia to Syria and then back to the Black Sea region, near Russian-occupied Crimea. An-124 is big enough to carry cars and even tanks, the newspaper notes.

Egypt and Russia – the main thing

Egypt is the world’s second-largest recipient of US military aid, receiving about $1.3 billion a year from Washington, but Cairo has often been a controversial ally. The government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a former general who came to power in a 2013 coup, imprisoned US citizens and backed the leader of Russia-backed militants who unleashed a 14-month-long civil war in Libya in 2019.

Sisi has a warm relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave the Egyptian leader an AK-47 as a token of friendship during a visit to Cairo in 2015.

The Washington Post, citing leaked U.S. intelligence documents, reported in April that Egypt had abandoned its plan to supply weapons to Russia and instead opted to deliver ammunition to Ukraine. US officials said the plan to sell arms to Russia never came to fruition, while the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said the country remained neutral in the war in Ukraine.

(C)UNIAN 2023


  1. America gives billion of dollars per year in weapons to Egypt for decades, and Egypt no doubt gives it to Russia to make a profit. Speaking about a loophole!

  2. So, when will sleepy wake up and punish Egypt? Maybe before the next elections???

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