Moscow - (TASS) - Military-technical cooperation between Russia and Egypt is developing successfully, Russia’s ambassador to Egypt, Sergey Kirpichenko told TASS in an interview.
"Our military-technical cooperation with Egypt is developing successfully," the diplomat said. "Weapons and military equipment are being supplied under the concluded contracts. A dialog is in progress on a wide range of military equipment Egypt might need for defense."
Kirpichenko said that the Russian and Egyptian agencies preferred to keep quiet about the specific types of weapons on the agenda, "because there is no need for that."
Armaments for Mistral helicopter carriers
Russia is holding talks with Egypt on supplying armaments for Mistral amphibious assault ships but this is a complex issue that requires a thorough examination, Kirpichenko said.
"Egypt is holding talks with Russia and other states on equipping Mistrals with necessary military and technical systems," the envoy said.
"Another thing is that this is a complex matter that needs to be worked out carefully," he added.
"The Russian side will naturally be ready to fulfil its obligations, if the relevant contracts are concluded," the diplomat stressed.
A shipyard in the French town of Saint-Nazaire launched the construction of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers on order from the Russian Navy in 2011.
France was expected to hand over the first amphibious assault ship, the Vladivostok, to the Russian Navy in November 2014. However, French President Francois Hollande froze the deal over Russia’s stance on events in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Moscow. The contract was severed in the summer of 2015. As a result, Paris paid Moscow 949.7 million euros in compensation and subsequently sold the Mistrals to Egypt.
Cairo earlier refused to arm the Mistrals with European or US helicopters. Russia later offered Egypt modern armament, electronic warfare and communications systems for the Mistral helicopter carriers