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Algeria’s Tebboune uses reliable partner status to secure Russian arms

Russia's invasion of Ukraine put Algeria in an awkward place, as it plans to walk the diplomatic tightrope with Russia and the West.
Vladimir Putin, Abdelmadjid Tebboune

On his visit to Moscow last week, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to deepen their two countries’ “strategic partnership.”

Tebboune was invited to Moscow by his Russian counterpart, who is becoming increasingly isolated on the international stage over his decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Algeria has remained a steadfast ally of Moscow during this time, despite many countries shunning Russia over the war.

Amid sanctions by the West that prevent the direct buying of Russian exports, Moscow is turning its attention to Africa and Asia for new business, diplomatic and military opportunities — for example, increasing the presence of the mercenary Wagner Group in Central and North Africa.

Given that two of Algeria’s North African neighbors, Morocco and Tunisia, are generally more politically aligned with the United States than Russia, Algiers is seen by Moscow as an indispensable ally in the region.

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