File Photo: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov (Reuters)
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said that setting up the cornerstone for starting the actual construction process of Dabaa nuclear power plant in Egypt's North Coast is going on smoothly and efficiently, praising the level of cooperation between Egypt and Russia ahead of the Russia-Africa summit.
In an Interview published in Al-Ahram newspaper on Monday, Bogdanov highlighted the ongoing partnership between Egypt and Russia, especially ahead of the Russia-Africa summit, scheduled to be held in Sochi resort under the chairmanship of the presidents of both countries on 24 October.
The Russian official said that relations between Egypt and Russia had been booming in recent years in light of ongoing meetings and consultations between Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, most lately on the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka last June.
"The Russia-Africa summit opens up new horizons of cooperation and exchanging views and consolidation on files of mutual interest between Africa and Russia, especially in light of Egypt's chairmanship of the African Union in 2019," Bogdanov said.
"This is a historical and unprecedented event in the history of the relations between Africa and Russia, aiming to level up relations and partnership to include all aspects of cooperation, including in economy, energy and transportation," he added.
Bogdanov affirmed the participation of more than 40 African nations in the summit.
On the areas of strategic partnership which are scheduled to be discussed on the sidelines of the summit, Bogdanov highlighted work progress in the construction of the Dabaa power plant in Egypt's North Coast, pointing out to the visits of the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) to Egypt.
ROSATOM will develop the Dabaa nuclear power plant, which will be owned and operated by the Nuclear Power Plant Authority (NPPA) of Egypt.
According to the project design, the nuclear plant will have four VVER-1200 reactor units. The first unit is scheduled to go critical in 2026.
Dabaa, Egypt’s first nuclear power plant, is planned to be built in Matrouh governorate on the Mediterranean coast, 250km west of Alexandria. Construction on the plant is expected to start in 2020.
Bogdanov pointed out to the economic and trade partnership on the levels of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Russia industrial zone in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, with expected trade activities constituting the centre of the upcoming strategic cooperation plans in the African continent.
The Russian official also noted a progress in the latest negotiations between Egypt and Russia to resume charter flights to Egyptian tourist resorts.
"Great success was achieved in the negotiations and the latest agreements between Russia and Egypt that resulted in the resumption of Moscow-Cairo flights," Bogdanov said.
"The final agreement on the resumption of charter flights to Egypt's tourist resorts will be reached in soon," Bogdanov affirmed.
The various agreements achieved on the resumption of direct flights between Moscow and Cairo strongly contributed to the flow of Russian tourists from Cairo to Egypt's different tourist resorts.
Bogdanov affirmed that Egypt represents an irreplaceable touristic destination for Russian tourists.