27 March 2013, 22:55

Russia, Egypt: relationship 'special' – Putin, Morsi

Russia, Egypt: relationship 'special' – Putin, Morsi

Russia and Egypt remain great friends and the relationship between them should be described as special. Presidents Vladimir Putin and Mohamed Morsi spoke about this to the press Wednesday night after emerging from a meeting held on the sidelines of the fifth summit of the BRICS powers in Durban, South Africa, the Voice of Russia correspondent Polina Chernitsa reports.

Putin called attention to the fact that the Russian-Egyptian trade alone has bucked the crisis and grown by 70% over the past two years.

He also mentioned a number of other important cooperation areas.

Both leaders said they were happy to meet and discuss matters head-to-head.

Russia seeks a rise in mutual trade inside BRICS - Putin

Russia wants to see a rise in the level of mutual trade and investment between the BRICS nations, President Vladimir Putin said during a working breakfast at the BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, the VoR`s correspondent Polina Chernitsa reports.

Mr. Putin said that the BRICS group represents a huge market and unites 40% of the global population.

The BRICS nations make up about 30% of the world's GDP.

In 2012 the countries comprising the group showed a nearly 4% growth against 0.7% in the G7.

Russia`s trade with the BRICS partners stood at record $105 billion. “And that's not the limit,” Putin said.

Putin to meet Morsi during BRICS summit - Kremlin aide

President Vladimir Putin is expected to meet with his Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Morsi for the first time on the sidelines of the BRICS summit [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa] in Durban, South Africa, on March 27.

"We have had no personal contacts with the Egyptian leadership for a long time. But Egypt is playing an important role in regional processes. Therefore, the decision has been made for the two presidents to meet in Durban," Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov said at a press briefing in Moscow on Monday.

He said the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, first of all the Syrian topic, will be among the key issues to be discussed.

"I think Syria will be among the key issues in the Durban discussions, especially with Morsi," Ushakov said.
The Russian and Egyptian leaders also want to discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation, including in tourism. "Although the situation is unstable in Egypt, tourist ties with Egypt have been broadening," he said.

About 2.5 million Russian tourists traveled to Egypt in 2012, which made Egypt Russia's third busiest holiday destination after Turkey and China.

Despite complicated socio-political processes underway in Egypt, mutually advantageous cooperation in all of the priority areas has been steadily developing and trade and economic ties have been broadening, Ushakov said.

The two presidents are expected to discuss the prospect of re-launching the Russian-Egyptian commission for trade, economic, and scientific-technical cooperation, which last convened in Cairo in March 2010. The parties will also discuss a re-launch of another mechanism - the Russian-Egyptian Business Council, established back in 2006.

Trade between the two countries grew almost 70% over the past two years, reaching $3.5 billion in 2012, Moscow said.

Russian companies want to invest in Egypt's oil and gas extraction with Lukoil (RTS:LKOH) planning to invest $127 million in oil extraction and Novotek $70 million in gas production. Also, in gold mining (with SMW-Engineering planning to put $30 million in the sector) and in industrial production, including VAZ and Ivanovets crane assembly.

The Russian and Egyptian leaders will also discuss ways to broaden humanitarian exchanges, the Kremlin said.

Voice of Russia

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