It's amazing to watch end times unfold before your eyes. Russia has long been assumed to be one of the end times players but it was hard to see how it would tie in to what will be a ME centric drama. Now it couldn't be clearer. Instead of an Eastern Europe centered federation gathering client states in the ME looks to be even better.
With it's existing portfolio of Iran and Syria as allies/client states, this pickup of Egypt not only adds to the Putin power play but really turns the page on the post 9-11 world. The old Western concern of a hostile and united ME rising up can be replaced with another concern, a Russian led coalition with appetites of it's own. With an already deballed Europe and a plummeting US President, Putin can fill the void without impedance.
We are now in a post Milo Doctrine world. It will end badly for people who live in nuclear strike target cities. New York for example.http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/6f10930c ... z2k7WzBtiH
The Russian foreign and defence ministers will travel to Egypt next week on a visit seen as signalling a growing rapprochement between the two countries as the military-backed authorities in Cairo reach out for new allies and seek to lessen dependence on Washington.
A Russian official spokesman said that Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister, and Sergei Shoigu, the defence minister, would discuss issues touching on “military and technical co-operation” – seen as a Russian euphemism for arms sales.
Cairo’s relations with Washington, its primary aid donor and military supplier for four decades, have frayed since the coup in July that ousted the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first elected president.
As tensions with Washington increased over the summer, culminating in a US decision to withhold part of its annual $1.3bn in military aid, Egyptian officials started to hint that their country would seek a realignment in foreign relations.
Nabil Fahmy, the foreign minister, went to Moscow on one of his first trips abroad after the coup. The second of two “popular diplomacy delegations”, made up of intellectuals and public figures, is currently visiting Russia.
“Our government was always very apprehensive about the Muslim Brotherhood and might feel that with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi [the defence minister and de facto leader] in power, Egypt could resume its status as the leading Arab nation and help Russia restore its influence in the Middle East,” said Georgy Mirsky, a Mideast expert at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Though the US administration has been at pains to avoid labelling the change of leadership in Cairo a coup, criticism in Washington of the ousting of Mr Morsi unleashed in Egypt a torrent of nationalist and anti-US sentiment, amplified by a combative and partisan press. Some in the Egyptian media have gone as far as accusing President Barack Obama of close personal ties with Mr Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.
Amid the nationalist frenzy and talk of US conspiracies against Egypt, rumours of an imminent visit by President Vladimir Putin – cast almost as a saviour coming to Cairo’s aid – began to circulate in the press and social media soon after the ousting of Mr Morsi.
But Badr Abdel Atty, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman, dismissed as “nonsense” any suggestion that Cairo sought “to replace one ally with another”. The strengthening relations with Russia, he said, were an attempt “to provide Egyptian political decision makers with alternatives in the national interest”.
“As far as Russia is concerned, we have had very strong historical relations since the fifties and sixties and we fought with Russian weaponry in the 1973 war [against Israel] ,” said Mr Abdel Atty. “So there is solid ground on which we can build for the future.”