Russia not coordinating with Egypt on plane crash details reflects political gap: Expert

Ahmed Eleiba , Tuesday 17 Nov 2015

sisi  Putin
File Photo: sisi Putin (Reuters)

Russia's unilateral announcement that the Russian airbus A321 was downed by a bomb without coordinating with Egypt in advance reflects a political gap between Cairo and Moscow, a military expert told Ahram Online.

"If Russia has evidence that the plane was downed by a bomb, why did they not show it to Egyptian authorities?" said Mahmoud Qasqosh, a researcher for the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies.

"We need to see the actual evidence that the plane was brought down," he said. "Is the proof on surveillance cameras or was a chemical component found to have caused the explosion?"

"Eventually, all parties within the investigative committee must issue a final report determining the reason behind the crash."

A source close to the Russian investigative team told Ahram Online that the Russian team, which arrived in Cairo on 5 November, was working on the ground on its own while the Egyptian army was sealing off the area and providing security.

"It seems that the Russian team found something of significance on Friday, which was the day Russia announced it was halting its flights to Egypt," the source said.

Russia, which had 80,000 of its citizens in Red Sea resorts at the time of the crash, sent 44 planes to bring back Russians from Egypt. On Friday, Russian aviation authorities banned EgyptAir flights from entering the country. 

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has visited Russia several times since he was sworn into office in June 2014, while Putin visited Egypt last February, indicating strengthening ties between the two countries.

Military ties between the countries have also been strong as they share a similar vision on the fight against terrorism.

However, experts question whether the Russian plane incident could negatively affect bilateral relations.

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