Russia and Egypt have reached a preliminary deal for Cairo to buy arms worth $3.5 billion (£2.1 billion) from Moscow, Interfax news agency quoted the head of a Russian state arms agency as saying on Wednesday.

Speaking during an arms trade exhibition in South Africa, the head of the Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, did not give further details.

Russia, the world’s second-largest arms exporter, has sought to boost its military ties with Egypt after relations between Cairo and its long-standing ally Washington soured, causing some defence cooperation between the two countries to be frozen. […]