Policy Brief

Security Factor in the Middle East in Russian-Egyptian Relations (2014-2018)

In recent years Russia’s policy in the Middle East has intensified, which is reflected in its direct participation in the resolution of regional conflicts, its willingness to take part in reform programs and large-scale economic projects in the countries of the region. The Russian military operation in Syria has seriously increased Russia’s influence in the region.

Russia and Egypt are close partners both in bilateral relations and in the international arena. In particular, this concerns their cooperation on the issue of regional security in the Middle East. They cooperate in the fight against international terrorism, and this cooperation has multilayered nature, ranging from coordination between intelligence agencies, personnel training, technology transfer, to a joint effort in stabilizing the situation in the Middle East and North Africa.

Since his coming to power, Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has paid 4 visits to Russia. In his turn, during this period Russian leader Vladimir Putin has visited Egypt twice. They have met many times during major international forums. It is Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (Special Representative of the Russian President for the Middle East), Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation Sergei Naryshkin who have also paid visits to Egypt. The very frequency of the meetings between the leaders of the two countries characterizes the level of relations between Moscow and Cairo – the level of integrated strategic partnership.

The legal framework of bilateral cooperation is based on the signed agreements, including the Treaty between the Russian Federation and the Arab Republic of Egypt on comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, signed by the presidents, as well as the Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt on strategic political consultations, etc.