Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy arrived in Moscow on Wednesday to sign the largest arms deal between Egypt and Russia in 37 years, state-owned Al-Ahram reports.
Sisi left from Almaza airport Wednesday morning in a civilian suit, instead of the military attire he usually wears during public appearances.
Speculations of an imminent announcement confirming that Sisi will run for president have been mounting, after the military issued a statement supporting his presidency bid late January.
The Middle East News Agency reports that Sisi and Fahmy will hold formal meetings with their Russian counterparts on Wednesday. MENA adds that the two ministers will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.
In December, Russian Presidential Envoy to Africa Mikhail Margelov announced that Russia would supply Egypt with US$2 billion worth of military equipment.
Relations between Egypt and Russia have strengthened, following a strain with Egypt’s conventional allies, such as the US.
Following the removal of former President Mohamed Morsi, the US, in addition to many European nations, imposed punitive measures on Egypt, considering the removal of Morsi undemocratic. The US also withheld part of its annual military aid to Egypt.
In November, The Russian Defense and Foreign ministers met with high-ranking officials in Cairo. Also in November, Sisi held talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu to discuss potential cooperation.