Egypt receives the Molniya RKA 32 class missile vessel from Russia on Aug. 4, 2016 - Photo from the armed forces
CAIRO, Aug 4 (Aswat Masriya) - Egypt received on Thursday an offensive missile corvette as a gift from Russia amid the ongoing military cooperation between both states, according to the Egyptian army spokesperson.
The commander of the Egyptian navy Osama Rabie along with the commander of the Leningrad Naval Base Igor Smolyak raised the Egyptian flag on the Molniya RKA 32 class missile boat at the naval base in Alexandria.
According to the army spokesperson's official Facebook page, Rabie announced the addition of the new vessel to the Egyptian naval force and praised Russia's commitment to training the Egyptian crew to operate it.
Meanwhile, Smolyak described Egyptian-Russian military relations as "strong and extending over a long period of time."
After participating in the inauguration of the New Suez Canal last August, the vessel was delivered by Russia to Egypt a year later in a "symbolic gesture" to mark the commemoration of the event on Aug. 6, Smolyak said.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi inaugurated an $8 billion expansion of the canal last year that aimed to double daily traffic and increase annual revenue.
Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have repeatedly pledged the intention to strengthen bilateral relations. The two presidents have also made agreements in 2015 to cooperate on nuclear and military matters.
In May, Sisi approved a $25 bln loan from Russia to build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa. The deal was described by Sergey Kiriyenko, the head of Russia's state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom, as the "largest Russian-Egyptian project since the Aswan Dam."