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Russia, Egypt draw closer

After President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's visit to Russia, Russian and Egyptian trade and security cooperation are stronger than ever.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi leave the guided missile cruiser Moskva at the Black Sea port of Sochi, August 12, 2014.  REUTERS/Alexei Druzhinin/RIA Novosti/Kremlin (RUSSIA  - Tags: POLITICS MILITARY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR4266Z

The official visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to Russia — his first overseas trip outside the Arab world since his election — and the outcome of his talks with President Vladimir Putin have clearly demonstrated the close links among the seemingly disparate crises afflicting the Middle Eastern states, Ukraine and their impact on relations between Russia and the West.

As a result of the visit, the planned cooperation in the field of agriculture will help Russia overcome the possible negative effects of the embargo on its agricultural products imposed by Europe and the United States, as well as allowing Egypt to tackle the most difficult development challenges it faces. It has been revealed that, in the near future, Egypt is ready to increase its supply of agricultural products to Russia by a further 30% (in addition to the 30% increase already seen this year), which now accounts for 90% of Russian imports from that country. Meanwhile, Russia, which this year will reap a record grain harvest of about 100 million tons, will remain the largest supplier for Egypt, providing about 40% of the country's grain consumption. The volume of foreign trade, currently at approximately $3 billion, should double.

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