The U.S. has expressed its unsettlement with Egypt over its securing of Su-35 jets deal with Russia.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in a phone call on Tuesday. Among other things, he told the minister that the U.S. is looking closely at Egyptian plans to buy Su-35s for ~$2 billion. Nearly two years ago, the U.S. threatened sanctions under CAATSA if it purchases the jets. Even Turkey, a NATO-ally, was not spared from sanctions, which are imposed for buying Russian equipment. In Turkey’s case, it had bought S-400 missile systems for $2.5 billion.
“The Secretary raised concerns over human rights, which he emphasized would be central to the U.S.-Egypt bilateral relationship, and Egypt’s potential procurement of Su-35 fighter aircraft from Russia,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
The Su-35 deal highlights closer military coordination between Russia and Egypt even as the latter reaps ~$1 billion in security assistance from Washington each year.
Additionally, Egypt bought a French Mistral amphibious assault ship that was originally built for Moscow. Cairo is mulling the purchase of 50 Ka-52K gunships from Russia for its Mistral boat.