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Russia, Egypt nearing $3bn arms deal: report

Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) confers with Egypt's Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy as they attend a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, on February 13, 2014. AFP PHOTO / POOL / MAXIM SHEMETOV

MOSCOW: Russia and Egypt are nearing a $3-billion arms purchase agreement that will be financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a Moscow newspaper reported on Friday.

The two sides have already either "initialled or signed" contracts for Egypt's purchase of Mig-29 fighters, air and coastal defence systems, Mi-35 attack helicopters and smaller arms, the Vedomosti daily quoted two Russian government sources as saying.

The report came out one day after talks in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's, the North African country's likely new head of state.

Cairo has turned to Moscow, which was its main arms supplier in the 1960s and early 1970s, after Washington cut back assistance to its regional ally over the army-backed overthrow in July of democratically elected Islamist president Mohammad Morsi.

 

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