Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) shakes hands with Egypt's Army chief Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during their meeting at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow, February 13, 2014 (Photo: Reuters)
Russia and Egypt are nearing a $3-billion arms purchase agreement that will be financed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, a Moscow newspaper reported on Friday.
The two sides have already either "initialled or signed" contracts for Egypt's purchase of Mig-29 fighters, air and coastal defence systems, Mi-35 attack helicopters and smaller arms, the Vedomosti daily quoted two Russian government sources as saying.
The report came out one day after talks in Moscow between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Egyptian army chief Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the North African country's likely new head of state.
Cairo has turned to Moscow, which was its main arms supplier in the 1960s and early 1970s, after Washington cut back part of its assistance to its regional ally over a crackdwon by interim authorities on supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
*This story has been edited by Ahram Online