25 February 2024 05:15 PM

Egypt and the Russian-Ukrainian War

Friday، 31 March 2023 - 11:08 AM

Egypt adopts a stance regarding the Russian-Ukrainian war that is consistent with its principled position adhering to the purposes and articles of the United Nations Charter. Egypt is renouncing the threat or use of force in international relations, resorting to peaceful means to resolve disputes, and respecting the sovereignty of the national state and its territorial integrity.  This is what Egypt has been doing over the past seven decades, as a founding state of the United Nations, without deviating from these principles or evading them at any stage.

Egypt is seeking to support international efforts aimed at resolving the crisis that has turned into a war between Russia and Ukraine. Egypt's position on the Russian-Ukrainian war is represented in an attempt to play a positive role in stopping the fighting and encouraging a diplomatic solution between Russia and Ukraine.

On February 24, 2022, the Foreign Ministry asserted that Egypt is following up with great concern the latest developments of the crisis in Ukraine. In a statement released by the ministry, it asserted the importance of advocating dialogue and diplomatic solutions to politically settle the Russian-Ukrainian crisis. "Following a diplomatic path would lead to preserving international security and stability and preventing further escalation of the crisis, in addition to averting the aggravation of the humanitarian and economic conditions in the area and the world at large," the statement said.

On March 2, 2022, Egypt’s vote in favor of a resolution adopted to end the conflict in Ukraine was based on a firm belief in the rules of international law, as well as the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter. The ministry emphasized that the international community must focus its efforts on seeking a speedy political solution to the crisis through dialogue and diplomatic means.

It also stressed Egypt’s outright rejection of using economic sanctions outside the framework outlined by the mechanisms of the multilateral world order, especially in light of their tragic humanitarian consequences in past scenarios.

It also stressed Egypt’s outright rejection of using economic sanctions outside the framework outlined by the mechanisms of the multilateral world order, especially in light of their tragic humanitarian consequences in past scenarios.

Egypt also reiterated its warning about the economic and social consequences of the ongoing crisis and its impact on a world economy that is still suffering from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Egypt also appealed that all sides would have a sense of responsibility, urging them to ensure smooth flow of humanitarian assistance to all those in need, and facilitate border crossings for foreign residents in Ukraine, without discrimination.

The ministry concluded its statement by stressing that international multilateral mechanisms are effective in dealing with subsequent challenges and crises only if these crises are approached in accordance with unified and consistent criteria that do not conflict with the principles and objectives of the UN Charter.

In April 2022, addressing a host of journalists and media men, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said the repercussions of this crisis has a very big influence on the economic conditions worldwide, noting that the state is currently seeking to counter such impact and that his main concern at present is to guarantee that every factory in Egypt works with full capacity and efficiency. Sisi noted that the Egyptian economy was negatively affected by the coronavirus crisis and the conflict in Ukraine, noting that the positive side in such two crises is that Egypt's economy was able to persist and absorb such shocks along with achieving a proper growth rate. As regards Egypt's stance regarding the Ukrainian crisis, he said Cairo is trying to play a positive role to reach a ceasefire and encourage the diplomatic solution to settle the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Sisi reiterated that the sharp influence of the Ukrainian crisis is not only from the economic side but rather relevant to the security and political sides.

On October 12, 2022, Egypt voted in favor of the draft resolution condemning the Russian referendums to annex Ukrainian territory at the United Nations General Assembly, said the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The statement added that Egypt’s vote is consistent with articles of the United Nations Charter.

Egypt called upon Russia and Ukraine, and all influential parties, to reach a solution that takes into account the concerns of all parties and stops the war, destruction and negative humanitarian impacts.

Cairo also called for an end to all the double standards and discrimination in dealing with the international issues, stressing that such approaches could deepen the crisis.

Egypt said that the crisis has affected the entire world and the global economy negatively. The developing countries, including Egypt, remain the most affected in terms of food and energy security, the statement concluded.

During the COP27 Climate Conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in November 2022, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi called for stopping the war and settling the crisis peacefully, which put Egypt in the context of international mediation efforts to settle the crisis.

In confirmation of Egypt's role in searching for a settlement, and based on Egypt's good relations with both parties, and the balanced Egyptian foreign policy that it has pursued for years, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken visited Egypt in January 2023, bringing with him a message to Russia. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry paid a visit to Moscow on a diplomatic mission between the United States of America and Russia, in light of Cairo's keenness to enhance calm efforts and try to find solutions to stop the war machine and achieve a settlement.

Egypt and the Russian-Ukrainian war a year after its outbreak

On more than one occasion since the beginning of the war, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has affirmed that the Egyptian state’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war is to try as much as possible to be a positive factor that leads to stopping the fighting and encouraging a diplomatic solution between the two countries.

He pointed to the severe effects of the war on Egypt and the world economically, politically and security. He also reaffirmed, during a phone call with the Ukrainian President in February 2023, Egypt's support for all endeavours aimed at calming the situation, and advancing efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict, in a manner that spares bloodshed and paves the way towards peace. HE noted to Egypt's willingness to continue making the necessary efforts in this regard. The Ukrainian President appreciated Egypt's influential role at the regional and international levels.

There is no doubt that the repercussions of the Russian war against Ukraine cast a shadow over the whole world, including Egypt, and Cairo called the Arab League for an urgent meeting at the beginning of the war, with the aim of uniting the Arab movement towards stopping the wheel of this war, and trying to stave off its dangers to the Arab region. The repercussions of the Russian war against Ukraine on Egypt in terms of economic aspects, such as the effects of wheat supplies, or the decline in tourism movement, are shorthand for other possible strategic effects - direct and indirect - of this war on the Middle East in general, and on Egypt in particular.

At the political level, Egypt has adopted the path of "adaptation". Egypt will not change its balanced approach in foreign policy with regard to its relations with Russia and the United States, as well as Ukraine, especially since Egypt has distinguished military and economic cooperation relations with these parties. Therefore, Egypt is heading in the paths and directions of its dealings with what is happening in Ukraine, based on its national decision, and its partnership with the Russian, American and Ukrainian parties.

Finally, Egypt's stance towards this war can be summarized in an attempt to reduce the effects of the economic repercussions and search for possible alternatives in order to pass through this crisis. A balanced policy that does not affect its interests and relations of cooperation with any party at the expense of the other, especially since it is far from the geopolitical arena of this crisis.

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