Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will host Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry for talks in Moscow today to discuss increased
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will host Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry for talks in Moscow today to discuss increased bilateral cooperation.
Egypt has aligned its regional foreign policy with Russia in recent years by supporting the Assad regime, condoning Russian activity in Libya, and massively increasing weapons procurement.
But, relations between the two states have been strained since July when Russia failed to back Egypt’s stance on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at a UN Security Council meeting. Egypt views the project on the Nile River as an ‘existential’ threat to water access.
In response to Egyptian backlash, Russian ambassador Georgiy Borisenko appealed to the Egyptian public in August to affirm Russia’s commitment to bilateral cooperation.
Russia’s aggressive stance in the Security Council casts doubt on the strength of the Russian-Egyptian alliance as Russia appears to value other regional interests above bilateral cooperation. Recognizing the need to appeal to other great powers, Egypt hosted US officials on September 29 to discuss collaboration on GERD planning and other issues
Today’s talk may help repair the Russian-Egyptian relationship, but Egypt is taking a realist stance by remaining open to cooperation with the US if Russia turns out to be a less sincere partner.