Egypt suspended a plan to covertly supply arms to Russia last month after talks with senior US officials and instead decided to arm Ukraine by producing artillery ammunition for the country. This is reported by The Washington Post, citing the leak of five US intelligence documents posted on Discord, which were not previously reported.
According to WP, Egypt nearly delivered weapons to Russia and had already made detailed plans to export missiles at Moscow's request, but after negotiations with officials in Washington approved the production of artillery for Kyiv. Although Egypt has long-standing diplomatic and military relations with Russia, the country has been America's top ally in the Middle East for decades and receives more than $1 billion a year in US military aid. The leaked document says that Egypt has postponed the Moscow deal and approved the sale of 152mm and 155mm artillery shells to the United States for delivery to Ukraine.
Washington is seeking to attract new supporters and ammunition, which is essential for Kyiv's fight against Russian troops, WP notes. At the same time, Egypt wanted to use its ability to produce weapons for Ukraine as a "lever" to obtain modern American military goods, the document says. The leak gives a glimpse of the quiet diplomacy of the administration of US President Joe Biden with countries that have sought to stay away from Washington's intensifying standoff with Moscow. The documents also show how power competition allows Egypt to take advantage of this.
The documents do not indicate whether Cairo subsequently revived Moscow's plan or whether it was still supplying US munitions to Ukraine. A senior Biden administration official said Egypt is a close partner and the US regularly engages with his leadership on a range of regional and global issues.
On April 11, the Washington Post, citing leaked US intelligence documents, reported that Egyptian President Abdul-Fattah Khalil al-Sisi ordered the production of about 40,000 missiles in February of this year to be delivered to Russia.