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18:47 11.11.2016(updated 18:57 11.11.2016)
Russia and Algeria enjoy a long-standing military cooperation but media reports about Moscow’s request to establish a military base in the African state are not true, Algeria’s ambassador to Russia told Sputnik.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Algerian Ambassador to Russia Smail Allaoua dismissed information about Russia’s alleged request to set up a military base in Algeria, in an interview to Sputnik.
“The establishment of Russian military bases in Algeria is non-negotiable. There were media reports, however Russia has never requested the establishment of a military base in Algeria and Algeria completely refuses the idea whether it came from Russia or any other country, this is an Algerian principle,” Allaoua said.
Allaoua added that, besides refusing the existence of any foreign forces on its lands, Algeria also refuses to send its troops to another country. He added that many could not understand Algeria’s refusal to send its troops to fight terrorists in Mali, Niger or Libya and other countries, but the mission of the Algerian army was to defend Algerian soil inside the country.
The ambassador added that Russia and Algeria enjoyed a long-standing military cooperation, however currently there were no plans for any joint drills.
Russia is a primary arms exporter to Algeria. A significant set of agreements, worth a total of $7.5 billion, was signed in 2005-2006, under which Russia sold Algeria military hardware. In September 2015, Moscow and Algiers signed a contact for the delivery of 14 Su-30MKA fighters to Algeria in 2016-2017.
In late February, the two countries laid out a roadmap for deepening bilateral economic and military cooperation during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Algeria.
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