These last few months, the European Union has intensified its ties with Algeria due to its growing reliance on gas following the war in Ukraine. The European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, visited the North African country herself last October and said that “Algeria is a trusted supplier”.
Other member states, such as France and Italy, have also increased their compliments to Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s regime. However, Algiers has become a key ally of Moscow in Putin’s war against Ukraine.
Algeria has become the Russian aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean. The Algerian and Russian armies have conducted joint military maneuvers in recent months, including on Algerian territory near the Moroccan border. Similarly, the regime in Algiers is one of the major financiers of Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, because it is one of Russia’s main clients for arms purchases.
This situation has been denounced both in the United States Congress and in the European Parliament. Following this, on November 16, 17 MEPs sent a letter to Ursula von der Leyen asking for the revision of the association agreement between the European Union and Algeria, which came into force in 2005, because of the growing links between Algeria and Moscow.
This Wednesday, February 23, on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, the General Assembly of the United Nations met in special session to approve a resolution that calls for Russian withdrawal from Ukraine and demands that Russia “respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Ukraine”.
Nevertheless, the resolution approved by a large majority is not binding. However, it is a good thermometer for measuring the international support for both Russia and Ukraine.
Putin’s aggression against Ukraine leaves no room for half measures. Algeria’s non-support for the resolution corroborates the close link between Algiers and Moscow.
Algeria is not a reliable partner. The European Union must be consistent in its efforts to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression and, therefore, reconsider its partnerships with Moscow’s allies. It is nonsense that, on the one hand, we strengthen, with public money, the army of Kiev for its defense and, on the other hand, we intensify ties with the allies of those who attack Ukraine. The revision of the association agreement between the European Union and Algeria is urgent.