air bases, air space, Anwar Sadat, armed forces, Cairo, Dmitry Medvedev, ISIS, Mediterranean, police, Russia, Russia defense industry, Russian airforce, Russian military, Sinai, Siss, Suez Canal, terrorism, USSR
One need only look at Crimea to see what happens after Russia gets access to military bases.
“The Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline are strategic routes for Persian Gulf oil and natural gas shipments to Europe and North America. Located in Egypt, the Suez Canal connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Suez with the Mediterranean Sea. In 2016, 3.9 million b/d of crude oil and refined products transited the Suez Canal in both directions, according to data published by the Suez Canal Authority. Northbound flows rose by about 300,000 b/d in 2016, largely because of increased crude oil exports from Iraq and Saudi Arabia to Europe. Southbound shipments decreased for the first time since at least 2009, largely because of lower exports of petroleum products from Russia to Asia.
The 200-mile long SUMED Pipeline transports crude oil through Egypt from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Crude oil flows through two parallel 42-inch pipelines that have a total capacity of 2.34 million b/d. The SUMED Pipeline is the only alternate route to transport crude oil from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea if ships cannot navigate through the Suez Canal.
Closure of the Suez Canal and the SUMED Pipeline would require oil tankers to divert around the Cape of Good Hope near the southern tip of Africa, which would add approximately 2,700 miles to the transit from Saudi Arabia to the United States. In 2016, 1.6 million b/d of crude oil was transported through the SUMED Pipeline to the Mediterranean Sea and then loaded onto tankers for seaborne trade.” Aug. 4, 2017: https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=32352
Both legal and illegal trade pass through the Suez Canal.
“Egypt is not a significant producer or consumer of narcotics or precursor chemicals, despite the fact that opium and cannabis plants are grown in Egypt… Narcotics do pass through Egypt. Egypt’s long and mostly uninhabited borders, combined with the high level of shipping passing through the Suez Canal Zone, have made Egypt prone to the transshipment of Asian heroin. Other types of narcotics periodically pass through Cairo International Airport. The narcotics are primarily destined for Western Europe, with only small amounts headed to the United States. Transshipment has diminished considerably in recent years due to the elevation of security in Egypt and the region as a whole.”
Control of the Suez Canal has serious military implications, as well.
Who owns Egypt owns the Suez Canal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suez_Canal_Authority
“Russia, Egypt Finalizing Military Cooperation Agreement
December 01, 2017 3:50 PM, Edward Yeranian
Arab media is reporting that Egypt and Russia are on the verge of signing a military cooperation agreement that would allow each side to use the other’s air space and air bases for a period of five years. Russian media reported that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has endorsed the draft agreement crafted by the defense ministry.
Egypt’s red carpet welcome Wednesday for visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has set in motion a military rapprochement between Cairo and Moscow, after months of hesitation, and more than 45 years of hostility following former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat’s expulsion of Soviet military advisers from the country in 1972.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the draft deal with Egypt, inked by Shoigu, which will allow each side to use the other’s military facilities and air space for a period of five years. Russian military forces have already reportedly used Egyptian facilities for operations inside Libya in recent months, according to Arab media. Defense Minister Shoigu applauded the warming relations between both countries during his visit to Cairo.
He says that efforts are being made to step up military and technical cooperation between Egypt and Russia, bolstering the capabilities of Egypt’s armed forces and police, which bear the brunt of the burden in the war against terrorism. He noted that improving relations between the two sides is coupled with an increasing volume of bilateral contracts for Russian defense enterprises.
The warming of military ties between the two countries comes after a spate of terror attacks in Egypt, including a gruesome massacre of worshipers in a north Sinai mosque last Friday, which left more than 300 people dead. Islamic militants also attacked Egyptian security forces outside Cairo in October, killing and wounding a few dozen.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has accused unspecified countries of being behind recent terror attacks both in the Sinai and outside Cairo.
He says outside parties are helping the terrorists, supplying them with arms, money, and fighting men, in an effort to seize control of the country and destroy Egypt’s role in the region.
Egyptian media has specifically accused Qatar and Turkey of supporting the terrorists. Both countries deny the charges.
Hilal Khashan, who teaches political science at the American University of Beirut, tells VOA that President Sissi is eager to receive Russian help in defeating militants in the Sinai, since his own military has not been extremely successful.
“A few months ago, Sissi asked Putin to help him to crush the ISIS uprising in the northern Sinai [based on] the success of the Russian air force in eliminating the radical rebels in Syria, namely ISIS and (Jabhat) al Nusra, and he reiterated his request immediately after the massacre at al Rawda mosque [in the northern Sinai town of Bir al Abed].”
Khashan says he does not think Israel will object to the deployment of Russian air power in the Sinai, since Israel appears to have good working relations with Russia in Syria. He also says relations between Egypt and the U.S. will not be seriously affected by the developing relations with Russia. The U.S. gives Egypt $1.8 billion annually, mostly in the form of military aid.” https://www.voanews.com/a/russia-and-egypt-finalizing-military-cooperation-agreement/4145739.html (Emphasis our own.)
If they are having so many problems with terrorism then why are they letting Russia build nuclear reactors there? https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/01/04/russia-to-build-4-nuclear-reactors-nuclear-waste-storage-in-egypt-on-the-mediterranean-with-a-35-year-loan-to-egypt-from-russia/
Why does he conclude that US Egyptian relations won’t be seriously affected? Because Trump and Tillerson are in Putin’s pocket? Some US Congress members appear truly concerned about Egypt’s human rights record and are, for that reason, apparently withholding some of the money normally given to Egypt. However, any amount held back by Trump and Tillerson must have a hidden agenda. Besides their apparent admiration and friendship with Putin, there are probable benefits to Exxon. Recall that Exxon was to effectively merge with Russian State owned Rosneft prior to sanctions against Russia. Russia appears to be moving to totally control Europe’s access to oil and gas. Europe is being encircled rather rapidly and it currently appears that the US would not be in Europe’s camp. Egypt is just one part of it. Europeans and British need to quickly learn to bundle up and turn off the heat, bicycle and walk more and use renewables, unless they wish to be full members of Putin’s Reich.
“Since 1946, American taxpayers have provided more than $79 billion in economic and military aid for Egypt, and that does not include excess defense equipment valued at billions of dollars.“. https://www.leahy.senate.gov/press/statement-of-senator-patrick-leahy-subcommittee-on-the-department-of-state-and-foreign-operations-hearing-on-us-assistance-for-egypt
“Needed Adjustments Unlikely in U.S. Aid to Egypt” By: Amr Kotb, 12-22-2017 https://timep.org/commentary/needed-adjustments-unlikely-in-u-s-aid-to-egypt/
Bipartisan Senators write letter of concern: https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/8ec8f370-7a5d-4ba5-af48-dddc7fe76674/72283F9825A70FDFF4385C91200CE052.20170619-letter-to-potus-re-egypt-ngo-law.pdf
“Russia, Egypt sign deal to construct nuclear power plant, Date 11.12.2017
Egypt and Russia have signed a contract to build Egypt’s first nuclear power plant during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader also voiced a willingness to resume direct flights to Egypt….” http://www.dw.com/en/russia-egypt-sign-deal-to-construct-nuclear-power-plant/a-41745535