Russian press agency Ria Novosti reported, on December 5, that the Russian and Algerian navies plan to hold joint naval exercises in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Algiers, citing the Russian Black Sea fleet.
The Admiral Grigorovich frigate, part of Russia’s Mediterranean group, reached the Port of Algiers on the 4th of December, reported Russian Navy – News and Analysis blog, adding that the vessel will remain in the North African country for eight days and take part in a joint military exercise.
Russian and Algerian media haven’t provided much details about the exact dates of the exercises. However, on December 8, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation said that on 6 and 7 December, the maritime phase of the exercise took place in the combat training areas of the Algerian Navy.
“At sea, Russian and Algerian sailors practiced cooperation in the suppression of illegal activities: piracy, illegal transport of cargo, terrorist activities, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and also carried out a joint search and rescue operation”, wrote the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation.
These exercises aim to improve the cooperation between the countries. Ramtane Lamamra, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Algeria said, in November 2022, that the two countries have long-term cooperation plans to reinforce this important bilateral partnership, reported InterRegional for Strategic Analysis.
Analysts claim that Algeria is investing in this alliance to ensure that Russia supports its aim to join BRICS, which is a priority for the Algerian president.
European nations are worried about the Russian and Algerian reinforcement of military cooperation and the military operations they conduct in the Mediterranean.
“In the wake of Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and a context of increased insecurity in the Sahel and Sahara regions, this military collaboration is extremely concerning, not only for peace and security but also for Western and EU interests”, stated the European Parliament on October 2022.
The military alliance between Algeria and Russia has intensified in the last three years. That was represented by Putin’s official invitation to Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune to come to Moscow in May 2020.
BNN Bloomberg/ Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation/ Russian Navy – News and Analysis blog / InterRegional for Strategic Analysis/ European Parliament