Exceptions to that have occurred with philosophical changes at the top of Egypt’s government – rather than due to changes with Russia – which is why the relationship is best understood from the perspective of who was in power in Egypt throughout the period. With that in mind, the modern Russia-Egypt relationship can be described in phases: the first phase representing a warm and open association with the Nasser regime, the second phase representing a cold and closed association with the Sadat regime, and the third phase from Mubarak to today in which Russia is again treated as a close ally.
The most helpful place to start with an examination of Russia-Egypt relations is to look at its historical foundation, which began as early as the 1500’s and so not surprisingly, based in religion. At that time, the Orthodox Christian tradition was very strong within the Russian political landscape and would significantly influence Russia’s decision to get involved with Egypt’s religious and political affairs. Patriarch Joachim of Alexandria sent correspondence to Russian Czar Ivan IV for assistance to the Sinai Peninsula-based Saint Catherine’s Monastery, which had been contested by Turkish fighters1. In response, Ivan IV sent a Russian delegation to visit sites across Egypt. Since that showing of support, Russia continued to provide support for Egypt’s Christian population, which accounts for roughly one-tenth of Egypt’s total population as of 20102.
Russia and Egypt maintained a productive, mutually beneficial relationship with one another – but until the 1950s, the relationship was never quite as strong or as public as it became with the emergence of Gamal Abdel Nasser3. Historically, Nasser’s ascendance came after a long process of revolution and independence in June 1953. Nasser and his group, the Free Officers, were expected to maintain the interests of the people against the ruling monarchy in place4. General Muhammed