American Study Recommends Bolstering Security And Economic Cooperation With Algeria
A study published by an American research centre confirms that, in the wake of Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, “the best approach Washington can take at this stage is to continue to treat Algeria as a partner in the security field and to find ways to deepen relations”, and calls on decision-makers in Washington to “focus on a shared vision with Algeria”.
A recent study published by the Washington Center for Near East Studies, entitled “Algerian-Russian Relations after the Invasion of Ukraine”, presents the reality of relations between the two countries and how the US administration and Western countries can invest in this situation to develop their partnership with Algeria.
The study, prepared by Dr Wasabina Heinberg of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Grant Rumley, a specialist in military and security affairs in the Middle East, in addition to Eric Yavorsky, research assistant in the Arab Politics Program at the Washington Institute, said that Algeria “has maintained a close relationship with its traditional partner in the field of security (Russia), but the constant desire for balance and independence can provide opportunities for Western countries, including the United States.
The study notes that Russia’s operations in Ukraine have caused a “crack” in Moscow’s relations with some of its partners, but the problem does not extend to Algeria, explaining that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has affected some of Moscow’s historical partnerships and exposed it to challenges with other countries, but Algeria does not seem ready to deviate significantly from its close historical relationship with Moscow in the near future. On the other hand, the war in Ukraine has posed new challenges to Algeria and its long-held goals of a more independent foreign policy. Russia and its desire to adopt the principle of non-alignment on the world stage.
The study points to what it calls Algeria’s benefit from the secondary effects of the Russian invasion, in particular “the desire of European countries to no longer be dependent on Russian natural gas. For example, Algeria is currently the largest supplier of natural gas to Italy, which previously imported most of its natural gas from Russia”.
The study looked at the close cooperation between Algeria and Russia, particularly in the field of armaments, and estimated that what it called “Algeria’s historical dependence on Russian military support” could become a weakness, justifying its assessment by saying: “The impact of the war in Ukraine is hampering Moscow’s ability to sell arms and weapons-related equipment, knowing that the invasion has effectively hampered Russian arms exports around the world.
In return, the study presents a number of countries with which Algeria could conclude arms deals, including China, and states that “it is likely that China, in particular, will seek to fill the Russian gap, given that the United States has described China as the fastest growing exporter of arms in the world in 2019.” The People’s Republic has used its sales of armed drones to Algeria and other countries in the region as a starting point for marketing other, more advanced platforms.
It also refers to America, even though Algeria does not buy its weapons from it, stating: “Washington could also consider using the possibilities of arms sales and security cooperation, especially in the fight against terrorism, as a way to draw Algeria away from Moscow’s orbit.
The study concluded by exploring the relationship that could unite Algeria with America, writing: “The best approach that Washington can take at this stage is to continue to treat Algeria as a partner in the security field and to look for opportunities to deepen the relationship, and this could include strengthening investment partnerships with other sectors of the Algerian economy, such as agriculture” and renewable energy, and to continue to promote a more stable and friendly Algerian investment climate.
And it continued: “The United States should engage Algeria in discussions that address the issue of regional stability, especially given Algeria’s concerns about the possible economic collapse in neighboring Tunisia and the growing instability in the Sahel region. Focusing on a shared vision of greater independence for Algeria may be the best way for Washington to facilitate such an outcome.