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Egypt to Defy US Sanctions Threat, Will Spend $2 Billion to Become 3rd Buyer of Russian Su-35 Fighters

Egypt is second largest recipient of US military aid in the world, received $1.2 billion in 2018 alone

US has already sanctioned China under CAATSA precisely for purchase of Sukhoi Su-35 fighters

Russia has signed a $2 billion contract for the supply of more than 20 Su-35 fighter jets to Egypt, the Kommersant news daily reported on Monday, citing two senior defense industry officials.

Russia has become one of Egypt’s largest arms suppliers as Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has developed friendly ties with President Vladimir Putin. The reported arms deal comes amid growing U.S. pressure on countries worldwide not to buy Russian-produced arms.

The contract was signed at the end of 2018 and delivery of the aircraft, as well as weapons for the planes, will begin as early as 2020-21, Kommersant reported.

In August 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump signed the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), which aims to punish Russia for actions that include alleged election interference. Under the legislation, countries trading with Russia’s defense and intelligence sectors can face secondary sanctions.

In September of last year, the Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military for buying 10 Su-35 aircraft from Russia.

Russian officials estimate that the country has lost around 50 billion rubles ($760 million) in potential gun and ammunition sales since international sanctions sealed off the U.S. market in 2014.

Source: The Moscow Times