Egypt Said to Plan to Ask for Russia Loan, Russian Officials Say

Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi will request a loan at a meeting tomorrow with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, two Russian officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions are confidential.

Russia will consider an aid request from Egypt if it’s made during the talks between the leaders of the two countries in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin’s spokesman said. “If such a request is made, we will consider it,” Dmitry Peskov told reporters today.

Egypt will also discuss Russian grain supplies during the meeting, Peskov said. Mursi’s office didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

The International Monetary Fund left Cairo April 16 without signing an agreement for a $4.8 billion loan that Egypt, a Soviet-era ally of Russia, is seeking from the Washington-based lender. Egypt’s foreign reserves have plunged more than 60 percent below their December 2010 levels, reaching $13.4 billion last month, equivalent to less than three months of imports.

Russia lent Cyprus 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in 2011 and agreed this month to restructure the deal after the Mediterranean island signed a 10 billion-euro bailout package.

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