What a difference a few months make.
In September, with a U.S.-led attack on Russia's last remaining regional ally imminent, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pulled off a last-minute deal that kept the regime of Bashar Assad in Syria in power in exchange for a release of chemical weapons. Now with the U.S. focused on rapprochement with Iran, Russia is looking to step up ties with other regional powers, including Egypt.
As a GCC-backed investment conference gets under way on Wednesday in Cairo, the chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Kirill Dmitriev, will get top billing alongside many of the Gulf's most influential business leaders.
(Read more: Gulf states, minus Qatar, rally Egypt investment to buoy army power)
The conference is aimed at inducing the Gulf's private sector to pony up investment in an economy already plagued by unemployment, inflation and a chronic lack of foreign direct investment.