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For Your Reference

How Soviet Revisionists Used Egyptian-Soviet Treaty to Control Egypt

[This unsigned article is reprinted from Peking Review, #13, March 26, 1976, pp. 14, 22.]

      ON the proposal of Egyptian President Sadat, the Egyptian People’s Assembly on March 15 approved a bill abrogating the Egyptian-Soviet “treaty of friendship and co-operation.” This is a resounding victory for the Egyptian people’s struggle against Soviet hegemonism.

      On May 27, 1971, the Soviet revisionist chieftain Podgorny turned up in Cairo to pressure Egypt into signing a “treaty of friendship and co-operation.” Consisting of 12 articles, the treaty was to be effective for 15 years. In the five years since its signing, the Soviet revisionists disregarded most of the provisions and completely reneged on their stipulated commitments while using the treaty to control Egypt.

      To oppose Israeli aggression, Egypt badly needed arms; it had fixed 1971 as the “decisive year” for recovering the lost territories. At the time, Podgorny was full of promises, agreeing that five days after his return to Moscow arms were to be shipped to Egypt. But nothing followed after this. Egypt’s persistent appeals forced Kosygin in 1972 to guarantee that he would personally supervise the shipment of arms to Egypt. Lies, however, cannot cover up the facts. The Soviet Union again and again resorted to stalling tactics and delayed supplying Egypt with urgently needed arms so that the latter’s plan to recover the lost lands could not be realized.

      While trampling the treaty underfoot, the Soviet social-imperialists exploited the treaty’s provision on “military co-operation” to send large numbers of military personnel to Egypt and grab military bases and political privileges there in a vain attempt to control and manipulate Egypt’s war plans. They denied the Egyptians knowledge of mastering certain weapons. They promised to provide “electronic devices,” but only on the condition that they must be manned by Soviet personnel and that Egyptians were not to handle them. The Soviet personnel not only threw their weight about like “overlords” but also interfered in Egypt’s internal affairs. Those Egyptian military installations and bases under their control were off-limits to Egyptian military officers and even top leaders. They also rampantly gathered Egyptian and other Arab countries’ military, political and economic intelligence and engaged in subversive activities. Their despicable acts of undermining Egypt’s national independence and state sovereignty and interference in internal affairs aroused the Egyptian people’s greatest indignation. Finally in 1972 the Soviet military personnel were sent packing from Egypt.

      To contend for world hegemony, the Soviet social-imperialists imposed a no war, no peace situation in the Middle East. In 1973, Egypt rid itself of this situation and carried out the October War. The Soviet revisionists at first put up obstructions and then opposed it. Later, when Egypt was winning major victories, they perfidiously stopped replenishing Egypt’s arms and ammunition to inveigle and force Egypt into accepting a ceasefire. After the October War, Egypt urgently needed to replace the weapons destroyed or damaged in the War so as to be ready to meet a possible new aggression by Israel. However, the Soviet revisionists consistently resorted to the method of withholding all supplies. From October 1973 to January 1975, the Soviet Union refused to provide Egypt with weapons and parts for Soviet-made MIG-21 aircraft for which Egypt had paid enormous amounts of foreign currency, thus reducing these aircraft to heaps of scrap. Furthermore, when Egypt turned to a third country to obtain these parts, its hopes were dashed because of Soviet obstruction and sabotage.

      Besides using the supply of weapons as a means of blackmail, the Soviet social-imperialists used it to dun the Egyptian people. Just two months after the end of the October War, the Soviet Union demanded that Egypt pay 22.1 million rubles (29.8 million U.S. dollars) for the remaining interest on military loans. In the following years, it kept pressing Egypt for repayment of debts. Egypt repeatedly asked for a rescheduling of repayment of the debts in accordance with the spirit of the treaty, but this was categorically turned down by the Soviet revisionists.

      Every year Egypt bad no alternative but to hand over 400 million U.S. dollars to repay Soviet loans plus interest. Besides large amounts of foreign currency every year, Egypt had to give about one-quarter of its cotton and other export commodities as repayment for Soviet “aid” loans and interest. The Soviet social-imperialists’ blackmail of Egypt has aroused the Egyptian people’s strong resentment and resistance.

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