His visit to Cairo comes less than two weeks after Moscow announced that the two countries were negotiating a deal to use each other’s military air bases.

Russia and Egypt agreed three years ago to begin work on a nuclear power project, with Rosatom initially expecting the deal to be sealed in early 2016. But progress was delayed after the bombing of a Russian airliner over Egypt in late 2015 in which 224 holidaymakers were killed.

Rosatom expects to clinch a deal to build four reactors of the El Dabaa power plant and reach a 60-year agreement to supply nuclear fuel and ultimately decommission the plant, the company said in June.

The 4,800-megawatt plant, some 130 kilometers north-west from Cairo, is estimated to cost about $30 billion and Russia is expected to provide a $25 billion loan to help finance the project.

Egyptian Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker said in comments published by the state-run MENA news agency on Saturday that his country had made significant progress in finalizing preparations with Russia to begin building the plant.

Technical, financial and legal aspects of the deal related to the plant’s design, the supply of nuclear fuel, as well as operation and maintenance, had already been completed, he added, without specifying when the deal would be inked.