Russia has extended Egypt a $25-billion loan to finance the construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi has said.
Sisi approved the agreement in a decree on Thursday, saying Moscow will cover 85% of the expenses and his government will provide the remaining 15%.
Egypt is to repay the loan over a 22-year period, starting in 2029, with a 3% annual interest rate.
The plant, which is to house four 1,200-megawatt nuclear reactors, will be set up in Dabaa in northern Egypt. It is due to be completed in 2022 and possibly generate power in 2024.
Egypt and Russia signed the agreement in February 2015 but their relations were badly impacted after the horrific Russian passenger plane crash in Sinai last October, when all 224 people on board were killed.
The Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is wreaking havoc mainly in Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Their the signing ceremony back then, Sisi said the agreement “carries a message on the weight or relations between us and Russia.”
Russia is one of the main non-Arab supporters of Sisi’s government and was among the first countries to endorse his presidential bid in 2014.
Sisi came to power following a military coup against Egypt’s democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi.