On October 3, the first Russian-Algerian military exercises kicked off in North Ossetia in Russia. A total of 80 Algerian servicemen arrived in Russia on September 30th. 80 Russian soldier are also involved in the joint training in fight against terrorism. The exercises will last until October 11th.
The joint exercises take part in the Russian Southern Military District, at the Tarsky and Molkino training grounds.
According to the local reports, the Russian side is presented by the motorized rifle units of the 58th combined-arms army of the Southern Military District.
“Servicemen will perform tactical actions to search, detect and destroy illegal armed formations, search and destroy conventional explosive devices, conduct radiation, chemical and biological reconnaissance in buildings and on the ground,” the official statement of the Southern Military District reads.
Moscow claimed that the joint exercises are aimed to build up military cooperation with Algeria and exchange of military experience between the two countries.
It was emphasized that the manoeuvres were planned and are conducted in accordance with the plan of international military cooperation.
The exercises were announced last April.
However, the strengthening of military ties between Algeria and Russia is of concern to France.
The joint exercises kicked off amid a new round of a political crisis between Paris and Algiers, as a result of which Algeria closed its airspace for French military aircraft.
The Russian military rapprochement with Algeria will be another blow to its bilateral relations with France that were recently hardened by the decision of Malian authorities to turn towards Russian PMCs for help in their fight against terrorism, following the French decision to reduce its military presence in the region of Africa’s Sahel.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Russian PMCs In Mali: Another Bone Of Contention Between Paris And Moscow
- Disputes With Algeria Threaten French Operation In Africa’s Sahel