Algerian-Russian Operational Military Relations Experiencing A Significant Turning Point
The operational military relations between Algiers and Moscow are experiencing a significant turning point. as the two sides are conducting joint military exercises from 16 to 28 November 2022 in the region of Hammaguir in Bechar.
The transition to an operational stage in the Algerian-Russian military relations is not recent as in November 2021 too, the two countries held joint military exercises in South Ossetia, in which an Algerian contingent has taken part. In September 2022, a unit comprising 100 soldiers of the ANP participated in the exercise "VOSTOK 2022", held in the Far East of Russia.
Naval military exercises have been regularly carried out between the two armies in the last two years and a few days before these exercises, the Director of the Federal Service of Military and Technical Cooperation of Russia, Dimitrii CHOUGAEV, travelled to Algeria where he met, on November 10, 2022, with the Chief of Staff of the National People's Army.
This visit consolidated the relations between the two armies as it cornes in the context of the increase in the Algerian military budget ($ 23 billion) for the year 2023. This has led Russian military officiais to covet Algeria in order to get a significant shore of this budget in the form of arms sales. Moscow will reap substantial benefits from arms sales to Algeria, which will certainly be used to finance and support Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The Bechar exercises are only a mere message from Moscow to the West, demonstrating Russia's ability to deploy ifs forces close to Western interests in the western Mediterranean. The unbreakable geopolitical relationship between Algeria and Russia places Algiers in the proRussian clan. The discrepancy between the official Algerian discourse, advocating non-alignment and neutrality, and the reality on the ground points to an ironclad alliance between Algeria and Russia.
The existence of a clan within the Algerian establishment considering the alliance with Moscow as sacrosanct and a cornerstone of the Algerian state. This, as Moscow considers Algeria to be an extended front in its strategy of military confrontation with the West. Russia will resort to this front in order for its striking force to maintain a close range, which renders the Algerian-Moroccan border a demarcation line between the zone of Western influence and that of the former socialist clan.
Algeria's alignment on Russian positions harms the geopolitical interests of The West. Therefore, countries of the West should review their strategies and partnerships with Algeria and it is reaping the benefits of its energy contracts with the West, while it continues to enhance its military cooperation with Moscow.
Cooperation between Russia and Algeria is not Iimited to the birateral aspect, point out security experts as Algeria has contributed to facilitating Russia's military presence on the African continent.