Egypt in Talks to Allow Russia Use Military Bases across Country

Russian and Egyptian flags surround posters of Putin during his visit to Cairo last year (Photo by AFP)
Russian and Egyptian flags surround posters of Putin during his visit to Cairo last year (Photo by AFP)
Russian and Egyptian flags surround posters of Putin during his visit to Cairo last year

[Editor’s note: This new development in Egypt comes on the heels of Russia’s announcement that it is to expand and make permanent it’s naval base in Tartus, Syria. Taken together, these two developments represent a major strategic shift by Russia where they are gaining a foothold in the eastern Mediterranean and a permanent presence in the Middle East. Without these Syrian and Egyptian bases, Russia’s southern flank is based around Crimea and the Sevastopol naval base which is vulnerable to being cut off from the world’s seaways as it’s access to them is via Turkish waters and the Bosphorous. Ian]

Egypt in Talks to Allow Russia Use Military Bases across Country

Russian media have reported on Monday that Egypt ‘ready to agree’ new Russian air base on coast including an air base on the Mediterranean coast close to the border with Libya.

Russia is especially keen to renovate an ex-Soviet naval base in the coastal town of Sidi Barani, which was used until 1972 to monitor US warships in the Mediterranean, Russian foreign and defence ministry sources told local daily Izvestia.

According to the source, an agreement could see the Sidi Barani base be renovated and ready for use as an air base by 2019.

Cairo is “ready to agree to lease to Moscow to address primary geopolitical issues, if the needs of the Egyptian side are met,” the paper quoted a defence ministry source as saying.

“A growing number of countries, including Egypt, are becoming aware of Russia’s role in maintaining the balance of forces in the world,” deputy chair of the Russian parliament’s defence committee Andrei Krasov told the newspaper.

“I believe we must cooperate with Egypt, including by recovering the air force base [at Sidi Barani].”

Russia’s President Putin has long said that he is keen to see Russia maintain a permanent presence in the Mediterranean.

Russia already has the Hmeimim air base on the shore of the eastern Mediterranean in the Syrian province of Latakia.

It also operates a naval base from Tartus, some 80km to the south.

The Russian defence ministry said on Monday that it aims to make the Tartus naval base “permanent”, and is drawing up the necessary paperwork to achieve a longer-term deal.

“At Tartus, we will have a permanent naval base in Syria,” Russian Deputy Defence Minister Nikolai Pankov told parliament on Monday.

The announcement came days after Moscow announced it was sending an S-300 air defence missile system to the Tartus naval base in a bid to beef up the base’s security; Middleeasteye reported.


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  1. After the U.S. helped to install the Muslim Brotherhood’s Morsi as Egyptian President (given his quid pro quo that he would turn the Egyptian military against Assad & Syria), and given U.S. resistance to the ouster of Morsi by the Egyptian people & military, it is no surprise that current Egyptian President al-Sisi is open to Russian military bases in Egypt.

    The Mideast balance of power shifted when the U.S. lost its Muslim Brotherhood stronghold in Egypt — no longer controlled by US/UK/EU. As expected, Russia & other BRICS-aligned nations stepped into the Mideast to fill the void. Failures of US/UK/EU ploys in Ukraine & Syria were the icing on the cake.

    • Interesting. I thought Isisi was a US/israli plant given his actions to insure Palestinians cant use Egypt as a escape route from the open air prison israel created in the Gaza strip. Flooding tunnels with human waste, closing borders during the hottest part of the year and deporting the sick and injured after leaving Palestine for proper health care are not signs of a progressive thinking leader.

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