MOSCOW, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- Russia and Egypt pledged Tuesday to expand cooperation in various spheres as top leaders of the countries met in Sochi.
After talks with visiting Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that the Customs Union, a trade bloc grouping Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, was mulling over the creation of a free trade zone with Cairo.
In particular, the two sides have agreed to ease access for Egyptian products, especially agricultural ones, to the Russian market, Putin said.
"Egypt has already increased supplies of such (agricultural) products to our markets by 30 percent and is ready to increase it by another 30 percent in the near future," RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.
The remarks came as Russia slapped an agricultural imports ban against the United States and its allies over their sanctions on Moscow. Russian authorities have said it would take one or two months to find substitutes.
Sisi, who was on his first official visit to Russia after winning presidential elections in May, said Russia could actively be involved in his country's multi-billion-U.S.-dollar "new Suez Canal" project.
"I hope that the creation of a Russian industrial zone in Egypt will be a supplementing component of the new Suez Canal project ... We expect the project to be implemented during one year after it is launched," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Sisi as saying.
The two leaders also discussed the deliveries of high-tech Russian military products, including 24 MiG-29 fighter jets, as well as its Kornet anti-tank missile systems, and Kamov Ka-25, Mil Mi-28 and Mi-25 attack helicopters.
"Our weapons are being shipped to Egypt, and we agreed on expanding this interaction," Putin said, and the two leaders toured the Moskva guard missile cruiser moored at Sochi later in the day.