Military Review

Russia is confident in the future of Algeria


Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Algeria yesterday, a country that is more successful than its neighbors in dealing with the onslaught of terrorists, but barely withstands the consequences of falling oil prices. 78-year-old President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika, who has been in power since 1999, is also a threat to stability in the country. Nevertheless, Sergey Lavrov yesterday made it clear that Moscow places special hopes on the development of a strategic partnership with the largest African state in terms of territory. With details from Algeria - Kommersant’s correspondent PAVEL TARASENKO.

After Sergey Lavrov was met at the airport by his Algerian counterpart, Ramtan Lamamra, the motorcade rushed to the building of the country's Foreign Ministry — but not to negotiate. Coming out of the cars, the ministers took shovels in their hands, after which they smoothly buried and poured the "tree of friendship" - young olive. At the same time, the land, which was prepared for this event, reminded Sergei Lavrov of the black soil of “central Russia”, as he informed his colleague. Nearby was a tree planted by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

"Safe haven" on the verge of crisis

Then the visit turned into a traditional course. At the beginning of the negotiations in an expanded format, Ramtan Lamamra recalled: the Russian minister in Algeria is already the fourth time. In 2011, Libya was the center of attention at the talks, two years later - Mali, now Syria is the main source of instability. Sergey Lavrov thanked Algeria for supporting the decisions of the International Syria Support Group, as well as efforts to resolve crises in Libya, Mali and the Sahel region as a whole. "We are unanimous in the fact that with respect to any crises it is necessary to strictly follow the principles of international law, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, the rights of peoples to determine their own destiny," he said. The Algerian Minister did not raise objections.

Algeria itself in recent years has been a "safe haven" in the region of the Middle East and North Africa: even the "Arab Spring", in fact, bypassed it. Recently, experts, however, increasingly say that the threat of crisis has hung over Africa’s largest state. In this regard, yesterday's meeting of Sergey Lavrov with President Abdel-Aziz Bouteflika was especially curious. The 78-year-old head of state suffered a severe stroke in 2013 and has not appeared in public since. According to some Western experts, the de facto reins of the country are in the hands of Said Bouteflika, the president’s 58 brother. The regime practically does not allow leaks from the presidential palace, but according to rumors, a struggle for power has developed in the country. One of her episodes called the dismissal in September 2015 of the all-powerful head of the Algerian special services - the Department of Intelligence and Security - Mohammed Medien, who was in office from 1990 of the year.

Even more, the situation in Algeria has worsened due to the collapse in oil prices: the sale of energy carriers - oil and gas - brings more than 90% of revenue to the state budget. Due to the crisis, the state budget deficit reached a record level of $ 8 billion. The authorities were forced to abandon a number of social programs (in particular, help for young people), started spending the currency stabilization fund, and also headed for import substitution - they banned the importation into the country of everything that can produced in Algeria itself (after which the range of goods in the stores became much more scarce). At the end of last year, plans were announced to lay off about 40% of civil servants. Last week, the French newspaper Le Figaro interviewed Algerian experts who stated: if the situation does not change, the Algerian economy will collapse, the country will again be swept by civil war and an unprecedented flow of refugees will rush to France - the former metropolis.

Trying to prevent the development of the situation according to this scenario, the Algerian authorities went to a number of reforms: February 7, the parliament restricted the president’s tenure as head of state for two terms. The rights of women and business representatives were expanded. Berberian language received the status of the state. At the same time, Algeria’s leadership is persuading other oil-producing countries to work together to restore prices - including by reducing the supply on the oil market.

No weapons united

Energy prices worry Algerians very much - at a press conference following the ministerial talks, the first thing they asked was this. Sergei Lavrov said that “there is a need to seek solutions on the balance of interests of importers and exporters,” but he didn’t go into details: “A dialogue has been established between OPEC countries and non-Turkish oil producers through the Ministries of Energy. They will not talk in their competence ".

In an interview with the Algerian newspaper L'Expression, published on the eve of the visit, Sergey Lavrov said: “For a number of years in Algeria, in cooperation with the state oil and gas corporation Sonatrach, the leading Russian companies - Gazprom, Rosneft, Stroytransgaz, Technopromexport "Other large companies from Russia are also showing interest in entering the Algerian market." Also, listing the areas of cooperation, he noted the use of atomic energy. Today in Algeria a meeting of the bilateral committee for the coordination of the peaceful use of nuclear energy will open, at which, according to Sergei Lavrov, "it is planned to discuss the possibility of constructing a Russian-designed nuclear power plant on the territory of Algeria, the development of Algeria's nuclear infrastructure, as well as non-energy applications of nuclear technologies - for example, in medicine ". In addition, the minister noted "good developments in the areas of industrial and civil construction, irrigation, transport infrastructure, high technology, agriculture." Algeria is interested, for example, in the supply of food products to Russia.

“In general, the prospects for the development of cooperation between Russia and Algeria are enormous in terms of the Algerian resource potential, the capacity of the domestic market, the needs of structural reforms and economic diversification. But there are no less obstacles,” the senior researcher at the Center for North African Studies and African Horn Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Kukushkin. So, according to him, the extensive Algerian plans for the development of ferrous metallurgy are almost entirely focused on new enterprises using technologies of direct reduction of iron using natural gas, rather than "coke-domain cycles", more characteristic of Russia. "The future of several other megaprojects that have been under development for more than a decade, for example, the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline from Nigeria to the Mediterranean Sea, is very uncertain for both economic and political reasons. There are prospects for cooperation in the nuclear power industry, but so far Algeria’s interest is somewhat weaker than Egypt, "- said the expert" b. "

As reported by the Russian Foreign Ministry on the eve of the visit, last year's bilateral trade turnover increased 2,2 times compared to 2014 and amounted to almost $ 2 billion. However, in 2012, it reached $ 2,8 billion - mostly due to contracts in the military technical cooperation. According to the Stockholm Peace Research Institute, Algeria is the leader in arms procurement among all African countries.

Currently, contracts are underway for the modernization of about 360 BMP-1 infantry fighting vehicles (up to the BMP-2M variant), and the supply of about 200 tanks T-90CA, 38 anti-aircraft missile and gun systems "Shell-C1". On February 20, according to Interfax-AVN, Rostvertol shipped the last of the six Mi-26T2 heavy helicopters provided for in the 2013 contract. By the end of 2017, Algerian military personnel should receive eight more vehicles - such an agreement was signed in 2015.

This year Mi-28HE helicopters will be delivered to Algeria, as well as several divisions of the Buk-M2E air defense system under the 2013 contract of the year. Last year, Algeria also signed a contract for the supply of X-NUMX Su-14MKA fighters worth at least $ 30 billion - the contract should be fully closed in the 1 year. In addition, according to Kommersant’s sources in the arms export industry, in 2017, the parties will continue negotiations on the purchase by Algeria of several divisions of C-2016ВМ anti-aircraft missile systems (Antey-300) and the acquisition of two military transport planes IL-2500МД-76А (in the case of signing a contract in 90, Algeria will have to receive two aircraft already in 2016). Negotiations are underway on Su-2017 front-line bombers - in 34, the parties will have to conclude a contract on X-NUMX Su-2016 front-line bombers (export version of Su-12): Algerian military showed interest in vehicles of this type about eight years ago, but after their participation in the air operation in Syria decided to buy finally.
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  1. pavelty
    pavelty 3 March 2016 15: 24
    I was with them on working issues, many, especially the military, speak excellent Russian, because studied with us, they treat Russia well. Why not develop a relationship? Yes, and the wine is good)
    1. Michael67
      Michael67 3 March 2016 15: 25
      It's nice to see how Lavrov does business. Not that some powerful people ... Algeria is a long-standing partner of Russia and relations with him need to be further strengthened.
      1. Temples
        Temples 3 March 2016 15: 43
        I agree, I planted a tree.
        Well done.
        This is not irony.
        His work is more and more with his head, but you look and does things with his hands.
        And a good deed.
      2. PKK
        PKK 3 March 2016 16: 33
        We are friends with Algeria, but we keep Libya in the head. It's time to add and strangle ISIS in that region of adequat.
        1. Stirbjorn
          Stirbjorn 3 March 2016 16: 47
          Quote: PKK
          We are friends with Algeria, but we keep Libya in the head. It's time to add and strangle ISIS in that region of adequat.
          who will call us there interesting?
        2. Maxom75
          Maxom75 3 March 2016 16: 57
          arm Algeria, and he himself in Libya, Isil crushed. But in general, the best army is the one that is fighting (from the statement of my deputy chief of the outpost for combat training).
    2. cniza
      cniza 3 March 2016 15: 28
      This year, Mi-28NE helicopters, as well as several divisions of the Buk-M2E air defense system, will begin to be supplied to Algeria under the 2013 contract. Last year, Algeria also signed a contract for the supply of 14 Su-30MKA fighters worth at least $ 1 billion - the contract should be completely closed in 2017.

      But the first results, and we hope not the last.
    3. marna
      marna 3 March 2016 15: 36
      My heart feels that Kerry will be their next visitor ...
      1. demo
        demo 3 March 2016 15: 55
        look at the planted tree?

        The title of the article, frankly, is ambiguous.
        But does Algeria see its future?
        Does he have confidence?

        And by the way.
        And we, Russia, how do we see our future?
        What colors?
    4. vladfill
      vladfill 3 March 2016 15: 55
      Algerian in the 70s could paint fences, good, as it were, the wine was.
      1. GAF
        GAF 3 March 2016 17: 58
        Quote: vladfill
        Algerian in the 70s could paint fences, good, as it were, the wine was.

        You can be trusted. Believe me too. He worked in Algeria for 4 years. A good friend was a Georgian. He was responsible for sending wine from the port of Oran. Laboratory samples were stored in sealed bottles from each batch of wine. Words cannot convey - not wine, but ragweed. Wine, which reached the USSR, he called urine. Sent by sea in tanks. In order not to sour along the way, they fumbled with anything than anything, starting with alcohol ...
  2. The comment was deleted.
  3. Jogr1945
    Jogr1945 3 March 2016 15: 28
    -15 qualifying.
    We’re trying to find friends somewhere, but Algeria Toko supported freezing oil production in other countries ... what do they want to find there in Algeria for themselves? We’d better go to Africa to a native tribe, plant a palm of friendship there was more .. The country is good, but what can it offer us? Potatoes for import? The same wine? And will we buy them for weapons or for oil
    1. Temples
      Temples 3 March 2016 15: 45
      and we’ll buy them for weapons or for the oil spill

      by no means.
      "This" we will buy for "ahhhhh ... it's all gone"
    2. gray smeet
      gray smeet 3 March 2016 15: 52
      Quote: Jogr1945
      it would be better to go to Africa to a native tribe, plant a palm of friendship, there would be more sense ..

      Algeria - like be Africa! and a palm tree planted! What's wrong again? request

      And so, by the way - Algeria is the largest, by territory, country of Africa and 13th in the world!

      Algeria is the richest country in oil and gas reserves.

      Facts about Algeria:
      read here:
    3. Manul
      Manul 3 March 2016 22: 58
      Quote: Jogr1945
      Though trying to find friends somewhere

      I take your easy sarcasm as a critic of our foreign policy. And who are you proposing to develop relations with? Name a couple - three countries at least. Well, very curious!
  4. dchegrinec
    dchegrinec 3 March 2016 15: 29
    Algeria is not a bad partner in our country. It must be supported.
  5. kepmor
    kepmor 3 March 2016 15: 29
    Eh, it would be nice if Russia also "looked confidently into its bright future"!
    1. Kent0001
      Kent0001 3 March 2016 15: 54
      Will not work. Our economists have prophesied our miracle or sorrow for another three years of crisis.
      1. kepmor
        kepmor 3 March 2016 16: 18
        Who really has optimism rushing out of all the cracks!
        However, like nonsense with .novnom!
  6. VNP1958PVN
    VNP1958PVN 3 March 2016 15: 31
    With competent intelligence, Russia will confidently look into "all" the future. And do not periodically sit in a puddle "made" by America! And then I've been looking lately, everything seems to have been done correctly, and the process has started ... But there is someone ... UNKNOWN, and again we slip on And a brilliant question - WHO DID IT !!!
    1. demo
      demo 3 March 2016 15: 58
      Well, who planted a bunch of us - this is beyond doubt.
      There are external, and there are internal good intentions.
      Tea on TV every day their faces show.
      True, not all.
  7. RUSS
    RUSS 3 March 2016 15: 31
    Algeria and Morocco are the last bastion of stability in the Arab world, at least in Africa.
    1. oxana_iv
      oxana_iv 3 March 2016 17: 00
      Quote: RUSS
      Algeria and Morocco are the last bastion of stability in the Arab world, at least in Africa.

      Well, almost the last one. Be I in the place of the Algerian president (well, just imagine immodestly repeat ), I would do the following:
      1. Launched in all the media the total anti-propaganda of the Orange Revolutions (with beautiful and impressive shots of the consequences thereof))).
      2. I would invest in special services so that they track and suppress fundamentally any Western influences.
      Otherwise, I'm afraid that American democratization is just around the corner (((
  8. Primus pilus
    Primus pilus 3 March 2016 15: 52
    You can do business with the Berbers and at the same time strengthen their influence.
  9. chelovektapok
    chelovektapok 3 March 2016 15: 59
    The main thing is not to dry out when the barmaley will start playing there. Otherwise, all these "mutually beneficial" arms deliveries themselves will have to be squeezed ...
  10. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh 3 March 2016 16: 20
    "... Last year, Algeria also signed a contract for the supply of 14 Su-30MKA fighters.
    in the amount of at least $ 1 billion - the contract must be fully closed in 2017 "////

    It seems that the meaning of the article (the plight of Algeria) is clear that this money (and other
    contracts too) Russia, alas, will never get ... stop

    But France will be worse - it should prepare to receive the next million refugees ...
    at least French-speaking. sad
    1. gray smeet
      gray smeet 3 March 2016 16: 24
      Yes ..... I would not want to write off the next billions, Algeria we have more than once forgiven debts ...
      It remains to hope for a sound calculation of the current leadership of our country
      1. Kasym
        Kasym 3 March 2016 17: 50
        Warrior, why doesn't it get the money? There is gas and oil, but their prices will not be forever low. Another thing is that France’s influence is strong there, and for example, money was printed for Algeria there (I don’t know how now). And even if there are no funds, you can ask for some kind of natural resources deposit. Compared to the west, the Russian Federation was not seen in the colonial conquests in Africa. On the contrary, it helped, so the image of the Russian Federation there is very high, especially among the population. hi
  11. Algetxnumx
    Algetxnumx 3 March 2016 16: 32
    "Russia is confidently looking into the future of Algeria", no, well, I am sincerely happy for Algeria, only sooo would like Russia to look confidently into its future too, especially at its own people, otherwise somehow this confidence "in the future "greatly diminished.
  12. Prisoner
    Prisoner 3 March 2016 17: 52
    "Ulyukaev looks at the future of Russia with respect to the world market with restrained optimism." (c) Something like that. what
  13. nazar_0753
    nazar_0753 3 March 2016 18: 24
    Negotiations are also being held on Su-34 front-line bombers - in 2016 the parties are to sign a contract for 12 Su-32 front-line bombers (export version of Su-34): the Algerian military showed interest in this type of aircraft about eight years ago, but after their participation in a military operation in Syria decided to purchase finally.

    I look, advertising from the videoconferencing did not go in vain) laughing
  14. waitknait
    waitknait 3 March 2016 20: 30
    I don’t understand why we should allow products from Turkey, Europe, when it is possible to form a food-industrial alliance exclusively with those countries that are our geopolitical allies. They give us exotic fruits, tourism, we give them industrial products, education, medicine, high technology. The reverse is to engage in the deep processing of their oil, valuable minerals, if this is of course good.
    I think that Algeria would like our frets, UAZs, gazelles, Kamazes ... (why sell our news to Europe, where they will face fierce competition?)
    We can give each other a lot ... back to the OPEC asshole, CREATE your oil and gas UNION, America will startle, and potential buyers will only be happy with such rivalry!
  15. 1goose3
    1goose3 3 March 2016 22: 13
    Russia is confident in the future of Algeria

    And not only ... !!!
  16. Vlad5307
    Vlad5307 3 March 2016 22: 22
    Quote: dchegrinec
    Algeria is not a bad partner in our country. It must be supported.

    At the very least, the RF’s strategy to build a regional international coalition to counter the SGA to destroy the BV and Africa for the sake of its TNCs and plans for world domination is visible! hi