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Thread: Russias Return To North Africa

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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Russia’s Return To North Africa

    Russia’s Return To North Africa
    The restoration of Russia’s relationship with North African nation Algeria is now complete; following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s trip last month to meet with Algerian President Abdelaziz Boutefliqa. During their meeting, both leaders signed agreements in the areas of arms and energy that will solidify bilateral relations for years to come.

    In the single largest arms deal for Moscow in the post-Cold War era, Russian state arms trader Rosoboronexport agreed to sell approximately US$7.5 billion in advanced weapons and military hardware to Algeria. The agreement calls for Algeria to purchase 34 MiG-29SMT Fulcrum multi-role fighters, 28 Sukhoi-30MKA Flanker multi-role fighters and 16 Yak-130 Mitten combat training planes. The country also agreed to purchase 8 S-300 PMU2 Favorit rocket systems and 40 T-90 battle tanks.

    Other arms contracts signed by the two countries during President Putin’s visit included the sale of 300 T-90S battle tanks for US$1 billion; US$200 million for upgrades to 250 T-72 battle tanks; US$500 million for M1 Tunguska air defense systems; and an unspecified amount for AT-13 Metis-M wire guided and AT-14 Kornet anti-tank missiles. In addition, Russia will complete modernization work on Algeria’s navy which includes 2 Kilo–class submarines, 3 frigates and several missile patrol boats.

    Rosoboronexpoert director-general Sergei Chemezov told Russian television, “Practically all types of weapons that we have are included – anti-missile systems, aviation, and sea and land technology.” Chemezov went on to say that Algeria found the combination of price and the high quality of Russian systems “an attractive mix.” An important component of the agreement is the write–off of Algeria’s entire US$4.7 billion debt by the Kremlin, most of which was incurred from the former Soviet Union between 1965 and 1985.

    The arms sale comes as international criticism of Russia’s foreign arms policy has intensified. Missile sales to Syria, arms transfers to the Palestinian Authority and the country’s continued defense relationship with Iran have raised concerns among Western intelligence analysts. Adding to these concerns was Moscow’s announcement in late 2005 of a new state arms program for 2006-2015 designed to modernize the Russian Armed Forces. Earlier this year, President Putin trumpeted the development of a “radar-evading” missile and proclaimed his country’s intention to participate once again in joint military exercises with neighbor China and other Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states such as India and Pakistan.

    Although arms cooperation is a key to the evolving Russia-Algeria bilateral relationship, energy plays an equally important part. With proven oil reserves of 11.4 billion barrels and 160.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, OPEC-member Algeria presents an attractive partner for an energy-rich Moscow.

    The Algerian Press Service noted that the Russian delegation signed 14 energy contracts worth US$1 billion during their short visit to Algeria. It was reported that Russian energy conglomerates Lukoil and Gazprom secured important oil and natural gas exploration and development rights. Soon afterward, Algerian energy company Sonatrak announced its intention to sign a memorandum of understanding with both companies concerning joint energy projects.

    In a sign of how close the relationship has already become, the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, said last month that Algeria may also take part in the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in Russia, while Gazprom would modernize wells and pipelines in Algeria. Miller, a member of the delegation that accompanied President Putin to Algeria, noted that his company might open an office in Algeria this year.

    Algeria is moving rapidly away from its French-U.S. roots and into the waiting arms of Russia. Both the scale and depth of the recent arms and energy agreements send a clear message to the West that the country plans a more permanent relationship with an increasingly anti-West global alliance led by Russia and its geostrategic partners China and Iran. Using lessons learned from the Kremlin, Algeria could very well use its enormous energy resources to influence “Greater Africa” and initiate a re-militarization of North Africa that could place tremendous pressure on an already overextended Bush administration.

    Arms and energy exports are mainstays of the Russian economy and are widely viewed by the West as a way for Moscow to increase its global influence. The developing Russia-Algeria energy alliance is not an arbitrary union of two energy providers. Rather, the alliance is designed to give Russia leverage against an energy-dependent EU and U.S. during times of regional or international crisis and to further Moscow’s influence on the African continent. Gazprom’s Miller has already boasted that both countries will work together in the European market; however, details of their collaborative plans have been inexplicably withheld.

    The U.S. and its European allies can no longer ignore what has become an obvious fact -- Russia’s growing leadership role in the creation of global military and energy alliances designed specifically to counter U.S. influence throughout the world. Moving forward, it will be critical for Washington and its allies to prepare for the inevitable geostrategic challenges that lie ahead.

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    Forum General Brian Baldwin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Russia’s Return To North Africa

    Not a problem as far as whom has these russian arms. We usually leave battlefields littered with those machines. Only issue I see is that it puts more dollars in russian pockets to increase their own military.
    Brian Baldwin

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