Report of plan to receive weapons from Egypt is false, spokesman Dmitry Peskov says
The Kremlin has dismissed a claim that it planned to secretly acquire rockets from Egypt. The allegations allegedly stem from leaked US intelligence files.
“It looks like another false story, because there are so many today [in the media]. That is the way to deal with such reports. spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in a phone call with reporters on Tuesday.
The Washington Post cited a US intelligence document on Monday that said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi had ordered the production of up to 40,000 rockets so they could be discreetly shipped to Russia.
El-Sisi was quoted as telling officials the operation should be secret “to avoid problems with the West.” He also reportedly mentioned plans to supply Moscow with artillery shells and gunpowder.
According to the Post, the document was among allegedly classified Pentagon files that were posted online earlier this year and unearthed by news agencies last week.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told the Post that Cairo remains determined not to get involved in the Ukrainian conflict and to “maintain an equal distance with both sides.”
“We continue to urge both parties to cease hostilities and reach a political solution through negotiations,” Zeid said.
Al Qahera News, meanwhile, quoted an Egyptian official who claimed the Post story is “nonsense that is not based on truth.”
Egypt has had close ties with Moscow since Soviet times and is one of the main buyers of Russian arms. At the same time, the country enjoys good relations with the United States, as the two states share a history of security cooperation. The United States also provided military assistance to Egypt.
The United States and its allies have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine conflict, in an attempt to cut its export earnings.
Sergey Chemezov – the head of Russian company Rostec, which oversees the work of several defense manufacturers – said in January that ammunition production had increased significantly. He stated that “The talk…about Russia running out of rockets and cartridges is complete nonsense.”
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