According to press reports, the announcement by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, to protect Moscow’s allies from any attack, includes a Maghreb country, which is Algeria.
An article in the newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi said that the Russian President’s speech before the Federal Assembly, last Thursday, that his country was willing to respond to any attack on Moscow’s allies is a real challenge for the West, which Moscow has applied in a different way in the case of Algeria, through providing it with high tech arms like S-400 system and Iskander missiles.
The report said that Russia’s defense of its allies on the one hand and its strategic location in the Mediterranean, the Tartous base in Syria, is a pledge to defend the allies that was indirectly applied by Russia in the case of Algeria.
The article was based on earlier Russian reports of the West’s intention to intervene in Algeria during the so-called Arab Spring by fueling the situation, capitalizing on the controversy that accompanied the Presidential Elections in 2014 or by transferring chaos from Libya through armed groups.
Reports, at the time, revealed that the objective of the troops is to intervene in a state of unrest in North African countries, as these forces were not assigned to Libya because the Marines forces in Italy were in charge of the mission, and what raised concern was the statement of Bruce Riedel, who served as adviser to four presidents, including Barack Obama in his first term, who said at a seminar at the Real Elcano Institute for Strategic Studies in Madrid in 2013, that the Arab Spring would soon blow up Algeria.
“Algeria is an ally of Russia, and the United States has a missile shield at the Rota base in southern Spain to counter Russian missiles, and geographical proximity is a real danger, and the West has two solutions”, said an expert on geopolitical relationships to Al Quds Al Arabi.
“Both parties either change the way of ruling in Algeria to be closer to the West, or create chaos in it in order to intervene. After Russia lost Libya and was about to lose Syria, it would not risk losing Algeria, which is a major political and military ally, in a major international conflict”.
The report said that Putin’s statements to defend the allies, outlined the decision of Russia to provide Algeria with highly sophisticated weapons in that sensitive period.
“It was not intended to feed the arms race with Morocco because the latter would not attack Algeria once and for all, but to make Algeria have a deterrent power against Western intervention scenarios, if they will try to repeat Libya’s scenario of air intervention under the guise of fighting the armed groups that were supposed to infiltrate into southern Algeria”.
The source said that Russia has supplied Algeria with the S-400 anti-aircraft system, which is considered the best in the world and is capable of confronting all Western planes, whatever their strength, including the Rafal and F-35.
“In 2014 or 2013 it secretly supplied the “Iskander” missiles, which have high speed and destructive power, including the striking of warships at sea or hitting targets in southern European territory that can not be easily intercepted. Algeria has not announced the acquisition of these missiles, but this came in a United Nations publication in 2015″.
“Algeria’s possession of these sophisticated weapons and the presence of Russian warships in the western Mediterranean were deterrent to the West in order to avoid causing conflicts in Algeria because one strategic weapon could change the course of a conflict or issue on one hand, and the allies defense strategy that Vladimir Putin is now making are a key tenet in his vision of defending the security of Russia and its allies”.
The writer of the article said that a number of countries will benefit from Russian protection, led by Cuba, Serbia, China and some republics of the former Soviet Union, including Iran, adding that Algeria may benefit directly from the new shift in the Russian doctrine of defense, while other Arab countries will be encouraged to sign joint defense agreements with Russia after Washington disappointed its past allies in the Arab world.