Russian Federation is ready to supply to Egypt a batch of Kamov Ka-52K shipborne helicopters if Egypt reaches a final agreement with the French authorities on the purchase of Mistral-class helicopter carriers, a source in the sphere of military-technical cooperation told Interfax-AVN.
The former army chief and current president, Sisi, has been engaged in a massive crackdown on protesters over the past two years, killing hundreds of political activists, mostly affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Mistral-class amphibious ships are often used to serve military operations overseas, as they are able to carry helicopters and other vehicles.
Differences over the cost had been reported during the French-Egyptian negotiations.
Amnesty worldwide, however, condemned the decision to sell the jets to Egypt over its “alarming” human rights abuses.
A government spokesman said earlier that France had agreed to sell the vessels to Egypt and would not incur a financial loss in the transaction.
The deal with Egypt comes as France has nurtured new links with Sunni Arab states which appreciate its tough stance on their Shiite rival Iran and similar positions on the region’s conflicts.
The deal with Russia fell apart in November 2014 when current French premier Manuel Valls announced he would delay delivery of the ships until a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed rebels are fighting the Kiev government, was being respected.
A subsequent crackdown on Morsi’s supporters left at least 1,400 dead and thousands more in jail.
Sisi was also the subject of scathing global criticism over the detention and trial of Al-Jazeera journalists, two of whom he pardoned on Tuesday on the eve of a major Muslim holiday.