For Egypt, the visit comes at a time when Sisi’s government is eager to showcase that it is not wholly beholden to Washington (relations have been strained now).
Putin’s trip appears geared at putting the world on notice that Western sanctions related to Russia’s actions in Ukraine have not curtailed Moscow’s influence in the world.
The free trade zone with the Eurasian Union is one such measure to boost Moscow’s fortunes abroad. The deal allows Cairo to strengthen its links with Russia, as trade between the two economies has already been growing. In 2014, there was $4.5 billion in trade between the two countries, an 80 percent increase since 2013, Putin said Tuesday. The agreement also opens the door for Egypt, the first non-former Soviet country to establish links to the bloc, to increase trade ties with other Eurasian Union members: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan.
While the free trade agreement is a political victory for Putin and Sisi, it remains to be seen whether it will be an economic one. On top of the free trade deal, Russia will provide assistance in helping Egypt build the Dabaa Nuclear Power Plant, the country’s first nuclear energy facility.
Moscow has also sought to secure a larger slice of the Egyptian arms market after Washington suspended some weapons deliveries in the immediate aftermath of Sisi’s crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood. Cairo hosted the Russian defense and foreign ministers in November — the first such visit since the Soviet era — and the two sides announced on Tuesday that they are close to signing a $3.5 billion arms deal.
The arms deal with Moscow was reportedly discussed during Putin’s visit, according to AFP, but no breakthrough appears to have been made.
Washington has warmed to Sisi’s rule and resumed aid to the government in Cairo, disbursing $1.5 billion in assistance. No word yet on whether President Barack Obama plans on traveling to Cairo soon bearing gifts from America’s classic gun manufacturers.
The secret of Putin’s overarching appeal is actually quite simple: If you hate America’s dominance in global affairs and all that goes with it (liberal economics, gay rights, endless reruns of The Simpsons), you’ll probably find something to love in the operative in the Kremlin. Chinese Communist Party? Too dull. Iranian ayatollahs? Too religious. The Venezuelans, the Belorussians, the Sudanese? Not serious. But Putin’s Russia - what’s not to like?
Populists love Putin. Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro touted Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize. Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has praised the Russian president for his policies on the media and his inclusion of Crimea into the Russian territory again (grand success!) based on the results of the Crimea referendum. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s speech last summer showed the virtues of “illiberal democracy,” by which he apparently meant a form of “soft” authoritarianism based on majority consent — something like the Russian and Turkish versions of autocracy underpinned by periodic elections.
'Putinmania' is a phenomenon at once broad and diffuse. In Britain, both English nationalist Nigel Farage and Scottish nationalist Alex Salmond have overshared about their feelings for the Russian leader. Putin garners sympathy from the far right (France’s Marine Le Pen) and the far left (Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek prime minister and leader of the anti-austerity Syriza party). In the United States, his apologists range from has-been Hollywood stars to liberal college professors to 'homophobic' conservatives who are not fans of LGBT agenda.
Based on the article http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/02/10/putins-kalashnikov-diplomacy-gets-a-win-in-egypt-sisi-moscow-eurasian-union/