In an interview with « Russia Today Arabic » on 1st February, 2023, the Russian minister of Foreign affairs, Serguei LAVROV, confirmed that Russian units took part in command and staff exercises in Bechar Province, in Algeria, in November 2022; a real fact denied repeatedly by the Algerian Ministry of the National Defence (MDN).
The statement made by the Russian minister of Foreign affairs, which took place a few days after the visit of the chief of staff of the Algerian Army, general Said Chengriha to Paris, is deemed as a response and a message to the West, emphasizing the unchangeable nature of the relationship and the significant degree of cooperation that characterizes Russia and Algeria.
Furthermore, the Algerian presidency announces that the Algerian president Abdelmajid tebboune will make visits next May to both Paris and Moscow.
All these developments confirm the fact that there is a discrepancy between the official Algerian discourse: sitting squarely on the fence with the international antagonists, while the reality on the ground points to a historical and strategic ironclad alliance between Algeria and Russia.
Oddly enough, Algeria is one of Russia’s most important military allies on the African continent and also one of the largest regional customers for its weapons.
Despite warnings addressed to Algiers, Algerian decision-makers are determined to serve Russia’s agenda and interests, offering it strategic access to the western Mediterranean.
At length, Algeria 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 limited to the bilateral aspect, as Algeria has contributed to facilitating Russia’s military presence in Africa, not to mention Algerian indirect support to the Russian invasion of Ukraine by continuing to seal huge deals with Russia for the supply of various types of armaments and equipments, especially air and ground weaponry, reminding, in this stage, that Moscow has the lion’s share of the Algerian military budget for the year of 2023, estimated at more than 23 billion dollars.