Egypt nearly supplied rockets to Russia, agreed to arm Ukraine instead, leak shows

By | April 18, 2023

The Washington Post reports:

Egypt paused a plan to secretly supply rockets to Russia last month following talks with senior U.S. officials and instead decided to produce artillery ammunition for Ukraine, according to five leaked U.S. intelligence documents that have not been previously reported.

The Washington Post last week reported on another document that exposed a covert scheme by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi in February to provide Russia with up to 40,000 122mm Sakr-45 rockets, which can be used in Russian multiple-launch rocket launchers. Sisi instructed his subordinates to keep the project secret “to avoid problems with the West,” the document said.

But the new documents, which The Post obtained from a trove of material allegedly posted on Discord by a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, appear to show Sisi in early March backing away from plans to supply Moscow, a move that would have represented a major rebuke to Cairo’s most generous Western ally, the United States.

Egypt, though it has a long-standing diplomatic and military relationship with Russia, has for decades been a principal American ally in the Middle East and receives more than $1 billion a year in U.S. military aid.

In an apparent diplomatic win for the Biden administration, a new leaked document stated that Egypt shelved the Moscow deal and approved selling 152mm and 155mm artillery rounds to the United States for transfer to Ukraine. [Continue reading…]