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According to a report released on 31 October by the French-based African news outlet, Africa Intelligence, Algeria is set to sign a huge deal with Russia which will supply the North African state with at least $12 billion worth of weapons.
The report states that the negotiations are currently underway, and that the agreement is set to include a framework within which Algiers will receive armaments and military equipment from Moscow over the next decade.
It adds that this will be a topic of discussion during Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune’s upcoming visit to Moscow in December.
The Algerian military establishment is particularly interested in Russian submarines and warplanes, namely the Su-57, Su-34, and Su-30, Africa Intelligence reports. It is also looking to purchase Moscow’s S-400 and Anti-4000 air defense systems.
The negotiations come at a time when the North African country’s military budget could potentially double, marking a 130 percent jump – to $22.6 million, and making it the highest military budget on the continent.
This is not the first significant arms deal between the two countries. On 30 September, twenty-seven members of Congress sent a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken calling for sanctions to be imposed against Algeria over its arms deals with Russia.
The arms agreements in question, which were signed last year, were reportedly worth around $7 billion and included the sale of Russia’s Su-57 warplanes to Algeria, which Moscow has not provided to any other state.
Relations between the two states have strengthened recently. On 20 October, Algeria and Russia started a four-day joint military exercise in the Mediterranean Sea.
They have both also been working for Algeria to eventually become a member of the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) group of emerging economies, which represents a beneficial alternative to the dominant US and western-led economic system, especially for countries negatively affected by western sanctions.