This week, members of the US Congress sent a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken demanding sanctions against the Algerian regime because of its cooperation with Russia.
The letter, signed by eight members of Congress, calls for sanctions against Algeria, especially over its purchases of Russian weapons, coupled with an Algerian-Russian rapprochement that concerns, in particular, the military area.
The letter is not the first of its kind, as Florida Republican Senator and Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee Marco Rubio called for sanctions on Algeria’s Russian arms purchases two weeks ago and said he “writes with great concern about ongoing defense purchases.” “. ”
The demands of members of the US Congress are based on Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017, which allows sanctions to be imposed on parties involved in significant transactions with representatives of the defense or intelligence sectors of the Government of the Russian Federation. Federation, powers delegated by the President to the Secretary of State in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary of State.
In recent months, Algiers has become a preferred destination for Russia, and the Moscow-Algiers line has become noticeably vital, which is reminiscent of the rapprochement that the two countries knew in the sixties and seventies, and official information confirms that this is a matter of modernizing relations and underlines the view that that Moscow is seeking to circumvent the embargo and sanctions.
Chairman of the Defense and Security Committee of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation Viktor Bondaev recently arrived in Algeria on an official visit at the invitation of the National Assembly of Algeria in the context of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. According to the statement of the Upper House of Parliament, where Viktor Bondaev met with his Algerian counterpart Salih Kozhil, they discussed the activation of the protocol on bilateral parliamentary cooperation signed between the two councils on May 13, 2014, as well as the memorandum of understanding concluded between the administrations of the two councils on December 11, 2010 .
While observers have linked successive visits by Russian officials to Algiers to Moscow’s efforts to lift the siege imposed on it by the West, led by the United States, since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, some believe that “the case of Moscow’s expansion of its circle of allies, and then a response to the desire of the two countries to develop their cooperation in various fields after the situation of Algeria with current events in Ukraine, and follow-up measures regarding the file of gas supplies to the EU countries.”
What draws attention to Russian visits is that they are dominated by the military and security aspects, despite the fact that NATO rushed to send a high-level delegation to Algeria after the departure of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which left uncooling interpretations down.