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Russia trying to buy back weapons sold to other countries to use in Ukraine, report says


Russia has approached several countries asking to buy back weapons it sold them, hoping to deploy them in Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Secret talks have taken place with Egypt, Belarus, Brazil and Pakistan, the outlet reported, citing unnamed sources with knowledge of the discussions.

Three of those sources told the paper that Egypt agreed to quickly and quietly return 150 helicopter engines. They are expected to be back within a month, the paper reported.

Russia also asked for four engines it sold to Pakistan, six from Belarus, and 12 from Brazil, the outlet reported. While Pakistan denied being approached, two unnamed sources told the outlet that Belarus – a strong ally of Russia – had agreed.


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A Brazilian official told the outlet that officials there refused. Insider was unable to independently verify the reports, and the Russian ministry of defence did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The reported Egyptian deal follows a flurry of back-and-forth deal making as it sought to balance its ties with the US – a long-standing provider of military aid – and its historically warm relations with Russia.

Between 2018 and 2022, Egypt was one of Russia’s top three weapons customers, Egypt Independent reported.

A secret deal to send Russia 40,000 rockets was scuppered following US pressure earlier this year, as The Washington Post reported.

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That prompted Russia to ask Egypt for the helicopter engines instead, per the Journal. In return, it said Russia will forgive some debts and continue sending shipments of wheat. The deal would have been enticing, as Egypt has suffered acute problems in its supply of wheat – a massive staple of the Egyptian diet – for several years.

It nonetheless has potential to be politically explosive. US Senator Chris Murphy, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations committees, told The Washington Post that had the rockets deal gone ahead, the US would “need to have a serious reckoning about the state of our relationship”.

The reported attempts to bring military tech back to Russia came at the same time as President Vladimir Putin ramped up domestic production. This has pivoted much of the country’s economy to the war, as Insider’s Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert reported.

Despite a barrage of international sanctions, Russia has still laid its hands on weapons and the parts necessary to build them by exploiting loopholes and its ties to states like North Korea and Syria. In September, Estonia warned that Russia was far outpacing Western nations in making ammunition.

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