Egypt, Russia Discuss Nuclear Plant Construction, Suez Industrial Zone

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during the Arab League’s “Summit for Jerusalem” in Cairo, on February 12, 2023InternationalIndiaAfricaDiplomatic relations between Egypt and the Soviet Union were established back in 1943. Since then, as the successor of the USSR, Russia and the North African nation have been cooperating in various fields. However, now given the strained Moscow-West tensions, Egypt has to do a balancing act.President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt met with high-ranking Russian officials to discuss joint projects in the North African country and food supplies, according to Cairo.The gathering was dedicated to bilateral economic relations and took place within the general framework of the strategic partnership between Russia and Egypt, which provides various mechanisms for cooperation, including the Egyptian-Russian Joint Committee for Trade, Economic, Scientific, and Technical Cooperation, which is currently holding its 14th session in Cairo.The Egyptian-Russian joint ventures, discussed during the talks, included the North African country’s first nuclear plant, El-Dabaa, which is being constructed by Russia’s state-run energy corporation, Rosatom, and expected to be up and running by 2028-2029, in addition to a special zone in the east of Egypt’s Port Said, which will offer a simplified tax rate for Russian resident enterprises.

"The sides discussed the development of Russian investments and joint projects in Egypt in various spheres, in particular the construction of the El-Dabaa NPP, as well as the establishment of a Russian industrial area in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, which will pave the way for joint projects in the fields of manufacturing, production localization, and exports to the markets of numerous countries in various regions," the Egyptian Presidency said.

Egypt, Russia Discuss Nuclear Plant Construction, Suez Industrial ZoneAfricaRussian, Egyptian Presidents Discuss Supplies of Russian Agricultural Products10 March, 06:02 GMTAs noted by Spokesman for the Egyptian Presidency, Counselor Ahmed Fahmy, the two parties also emphasized their commitment to further bolstering bilateral relations in various areas.Along with the Egyptian president, a number of senior officials were present during the dialouge, including Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of Finance Mohammed Maait, and Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir.From the Russian side, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov led the delegation from Moscow, joined by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, and Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Cairo, Georgy Borisenko, among others.During the course of the talks, Manturov said that he hoped Egypt and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) would soon ink the long-discussed free trade area (FTA) agreement.

"After all, we, as an EAEU country, which takes part in this process, provide all kinds of assistance and support on this matter. Negotiations have been ongoing since 2019. We are greatly looking forward to further spurring the process in the near future given the fact that the pandemic led to certain corrections. Now, [both] countries are interacting face-to-face more actively. I hope the process will be finished soon enough," Manturov said, answering a question on the free trade agreement between the EAEU and Egypt.

The Eurasian Economic Union is an international post-Soviet economic organization that in 2015 replaced the Eurasian Economic Community, and currently includes Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Moldavia has been an observer within the organization since May 2018. In 2020, observer status was granted to Cuba and Uzbekistan.Moreover, earlier, Russian Ambassador to Egypt Georgiy Borisenko in an interview with Sputnik said Cairo unveiled its aspirations and submitted a request to join BRICS, an international economic forum currently uniting Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.


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