DUBAI — A United Arab Emirates government official has confirmed to Defense News the government's interest in acquiring one of two French Mistral-class amphibious assault ships originally ordered by Russia in 2011.
Russian Arabic-language television channel Russia Today quoted presidency spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying that his country hopes France, now free to use the ships after settling its dues, would take Russian interests into account when reselling the warships to a third party.
According to unnamed Russian sources close to the deal quoted by Moskovsky Komsomolets, Egypt will purchase the ship with direct Russian financial support and would also have to commit to the purchase of a number of Russian Ka-52 helicopters.
"If this deal goes through, for Russia it is very advantageous, since the loan is in fact a trademark: a large consignment of helicopters will be based at our Russian defense industry, taxes will go into our budget, and the borrower does not receive the money but the product — helicopters made in Russia," the source was quoted.
The UAE official did not confirm whether the deals were reached at the MAKS 2015 airshow in Moscow last week. No Egyptian officials were immediately available to comment.