A US State Department official has warned Egypt against buying Russian fighter jets, saying it puts them at risk of US sanctions.
The US official added that Egypt is aware of the dangers of buying Russian fighter jets, especially the suspension of its purchases of US weapons in the future.
The warning came days after the Wall Street Journal revealed that the US secretaries of state and defense had urged Egyptian Defense Minister Mohamed Zaki, in a written letter, to drop a deal to buy Russian Su-35 fighter jets.
The signing of the contract will complicate the future of US military support and security assistance to Egypt, according to a letter from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Mark Esper last Wednesday.
US defense officials also warned the Egyptian air force commander in person of the possible consequences of completing the deal.
In April, Pompeo promised Egypt sanctions if they bought the fighter jets from Russia.``We have made it clear that if we buy these systems, by law, this will require sanctions on the regime, '' he told a Senate Foreign Operations Appropriations subcommittee.
"We have received assurances from their side that they understand that, and I very much hope that they will not decide to go ahead with it."
Deal with Moscow
The Russian newspaper "Kommersant" reported in March that Russia and Egypt signed a contract to supply more than 20 Sukhoi-35 fighter and air combat weapons to Cairo, for about two billion dollars.
She added that the supply of these fighter jets to Egypt may be between 2020 and 2021.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Egyptian officials have repeatedly asked the Trump administration to supply Cairo with about 20 F-35 fighter jets, but the US administration has imposed a total ban on sales of these fighter jets in the Middle East except Israel, which may have prompted Cairo to move forward. Its agreement to buy Russian aircraft.
The United States has consistently threatened other countries that want to buy Russian weapons with sanctions under the Trump's US Enemy Act, signed in August 2017. The law aims to increase pressure on Moscow.
Egyptian-American relations are described as close and strategic, especially at the military level. Since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, the United States has provided Egypt with 1.3 billion dollars in military aid annually.
The Sukhoi-35 is a fourth-generation, high-quality single-pilot fighter that allows a range of devices on board to carry out its missions with high accuracy, so that it can track 30 targets and simultaneously attack eight air targets or two ground targets.
The Sukhoi-35 entered military service in 2015, and outperforms those in the world such as the French Rafale F-16.
The Sukhoi-35 has a 14.5-ton engine with nozzle guided technology, a takeoff weight of 34,500 kilograms, a speed of 2125 kilometers per hour, equipped with radar that detects the air target 400 kilometers away, an intelligent electronic system, and carrying air-to-air guided bombs. Air-to-ground, unguided bombs, and a thirty-millimeter gun.