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Russia in talks with Egypt to lease military base: Report

In this file photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, Russian Su-25 ground attack jet takes off at Hemeimeem Air Base in Syria. (Photo by AFP)

Russia is in talks with Egypt to lease military facilities in the North African state, including an air base in the town of Sidi Barrani near the Mediterranean, a media report says.

If Moscow and Cairo reach an agreement, the military base will be ready for use by 2019, the Russian Izvestia paper reported, quoting a source in the Russian Foreign ministry as saying on Monday.

The daily noted that the facility in Sidi Barrani will be used as a military air base.

The source, who is close to the Defense Ministry, added that the two parties have so far agreed that Moscow provide the base with necessary equipment through shipping, saying, however, that the number of Russian troops deployed there would be limited.

The talks over Russia's participation in the renovation of Egyptian military bases in the city are going on successfully, the source said.

The ex-Soviet Union had a naval base in Sidi Barrani until 1972. It was used to monitor American warships.

Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry said it was examining the possibility of restoring its military presence in Cuba and Vietnam, with the Kremlin stressing that it would take all the necessary measures to protect national interests.

Russia had lowered its flag at the Lourdes signals intelligence base in Cuba and the deepwater Cam Rahn naval base in Vietnam in the early 2000s.

“The global situation is not static, it is in flux, and the last two years have made significant changes to international affairs and security, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

“Therefore, it's quite natural that all countries assess these changes in line with their national interests and take certain steps in the way they consider appropriate,” he added.

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