CAIRO: Russian shipments of wheat to Egypt, and collaborative projects between the two countries have not been affected by the war with Ukraine, according to Moscow’s top envoy to the African nation.
“According to the communication between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Russian President Vladimir Putin, it was emphasized that the El-Dabaa (nuclear power) project and the Russian industrial zone in Egypt have been completed, and that shipments of Russian wheat were supplied to Egypt,” Russian Ambassador to Egypt Georgy Borisenko said.
He added that the Russian minister of agriculture and ministers in Egypt had been in communication on March 17 "to confirm that shipments were not affected."
El-Sisi and Putin spoke over the phone two weeks ago to discuss the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, as well as ways to strengthen cooperation and friendly relations between Moscow and Cairo, according to a statement by the Egyptian presidency.
Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Association of Graduates of Russian and Soviet Universities, Borisenko said: “The remittances of students in Russia have not been affected, especially since there are Russian banks that have not been subjected to Western sanctions.”
Russia and Ukraine are the largest foreign suppliers of wheat to Egypt, accounting for about 50 percent and 30 percent of the African nation’s total imports of the grain in 2021.
On the war in Ukraine, Borisenko said Kyiv “would like to prolong it, because it is waiting for instructions from Washington” and was trying to “win the sympathy of the world and increase the hysteria of hostility towards Russia.”
“The Ukrainian president does not have full control over the military units in Ukraine, due to the presence of units belonging to Ukrainian nationalists,” he said.
Borisenko added that Russia readied its nuclear weapons in the first days of the war in response to statements from the West that it would “deal a painful blow to Russia.”
But, he said: “We do not want a nuclear war, and we want the American president to have wisdom, not to resort to this type of war since it would destroy the world, and we realize that he is aware of the fear of a third world war.”