President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi is set to pay a “short visit” to Russia on Tuesday after receiving an invitation by the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Egypt’s State Information Service said.
Putin invited Al-Sisi to visit Russia in June, as he congratulated Al-Sisi on his inauguration as Egypt’s sixth President.
Al-Sisi made his previous visit to meet Putin in Russia last February when he was still serving as interim defence minister. At the time, the Russian president said he supported Al-Sisi in his run for presidency, although Al-Sisi’s intention to run had not yet been officially announced.
The visit to Russia was surrounded by speculation over an alleged $3bn arms deal, said to be the result of the Russian foreign and defence ministers visit to Egypt last November. Egypt’s foreign ministry denied that a deal was signed but said that “everything is possible”.
The Soviet Union was Egypt’s main supplier of arms to Egypt in the 1960s and early 1970s, but cooperation between the two countries ended after Israel and Egypt signed the Camp David Accords and US aid substituted Russian economic help.