Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with his Algerian counterpart Ramtane Lamamra. (Photo credit: Flick.com / MFA Russia)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in Algeria on 9 May in a visit that was not announced in advance by the Algerian foreign ministry.
Talks between Lavrov and his Algerian counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra, began on 10 May.
The visit coincides with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Algeria, as the Soviet Union was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Algeria following its independence from French colonial occupation in 1962.
Lavrov will also meet with Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune. Lavrov’s visit comes as European nations, largely dependent on Russian energy exports, seek alternatives from countries like Algeria.
According to Al Mayadeen, Moscow’s strategy may push Algeria towards the alliance between Russia, China, Iran, and Venezuela.
Lamamra visited Moscow in early April as part of a delegation from the Arab League to discuss the Russia–Ukraine conflict. Arab countries are hoping for a resolution to the conflict due to the impact the conflict is having on global wheat supplies and on food prices.
According to an analysis by The Cradle, much of the Arab world depends on wheat supplies from Russia and Ukraine. The effect of the conflict on global food supplies and prices will be felt mostly acutely among countries already stricken by economic issues, namely, Lebanon, Yemen, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
The visit of the Russian foreign minister comes as Moscow seeks to build relations with the Arab world amid growing tensions with Tel Aviv, after Israel formally condemned the Russian special military operation in Ukraine.
Israel is also seeking to build up its military presence on the Moroccan border with Algeria, which Algiers sees as a threat to its national security.
The support of Tel Aviv towards the adversaries of Russia and Algeria may be a factor in bringing diplomatic relations between the two closer together.
As the diplomatic spat between Moscow and Tel Aviv grows, Lavrov has formally invited Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh to Moscow.
An analysis by Middle East Monitor (MEMO) from 23 November 2021 suggested that Israeli presence on Algeria’s borders will likely push Algeria closer towards Iran, another close ally of Moscow.