Pentagon Leaks Reveal Egypt Planned to Supply Russia With Weapons
Pentagon documents leaked last week revealed that Egypt secretly planned to ship weapons to Russia to aid its war on Ukraine. The leaked documents, dated February 17, disclosed conversations that Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi had with senior Egyptian military officials about supplying Russia with ammunition.
According to the leaks, Sisi ordered his subordinates to produce up to 40,000 rockets to be shipped secretly to Russia. The documents also said he discussed plans to send artillery rounds and gunpowder. These supplies could have replenished Russia’s depleted stock, so Sisi told his military officials to keep the shipments confidential “to avoid problems with the West.”
Questionable alliances: Egypt receives huge amounts of military aid from the United States each year. Since 1978, America has sent Egypt over $50 billion in military assistance.
If it’s true that Sisi is covertly building rockets for Russia that could be used in Ukraine, we need to have a serious reckoning about the state of our relationship.
—Chris Murphy, U.S. senator
Egypt denies that it had plans to supply rockets to Russia, however, and says it is committed to having a “balanced policy with all countries to preserve peace and stability.”
Egypt’s position from the beginning [of the Ukraine War] is based on noninvolvement in this crisis and committing to maintain equal distance with both sides. … We continue to urge both parties to cease hostilities and reach a political solution through negotiations.
—Ahmed Abu Zeid, spokesman for Egypt’s Foreign Ministry
Egypt is among America’s closest allies in the Middle East, but the Arab nation has struggled to balance its U.S. ties with the partnership it is slowly but consistently building with Russia. If Russia gets a stronger foothold in Sisi’s Egypt, it will undermine America’s influence. This could dynamically alter all of Egypt’s alliances.