EU and US at odds on Algeria’s arms bonanza with Russia


Fake news in Rabat isn’t helping the problem with Algeria and Russia as both the US and EU head in different directions


The EU is mulling over its present relationship with Algeria, a country causing concerns with the West over its Russian arms spending spree and how Moscow is using it as a pawn in a bigger Ukraine war power game. The US is also examining what can be done about Algeria but is looking at Algiers from a very different perspective to that of Brussels.

In short, the EU believes that there is some benefit to bringing Algeria in from the cold and working more closely with it; whereas the US believe a more hard line isolationist approach is required.

Recently, the Moroccan press raved over a minor news event of a group of what Rabat claimed were “influential” members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who had “urged” the head of the European Commission to review the association agreement with Algeria, in light of Morocco’s concerns about the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

In reality, the picture is a little different to what Rabat is projecting.

The state friendly semi professional North Africa Post (NAP) misreported, in fact, that an obscure cabal of MEPs were spearheading a new initiative to crack down on Algeria. The poor copy/paste reporting of NAP from the EU’s own in house fake news outlet ‘Euractiv’ actually misunderstood the original article which in fact suggested that the EU breathed new life into an expired trade association agreement which ended in September 2020.

Whilst being clearly critical of Algeria’s recent move to “pump 17 billion dollars into Russian coffers” in arms deals that the MEPs naively reckoned would be cash spent on funding the Ukraine war, they told European Commission chief Ursula Von der Leyen of their “deep concern” at Algeria’s growing political, logistics and financial support to Moscow (according to Euractiv who presumably saw the letter).

The thinking behind these 17 obscure MEPs in a parliament made up of over 700  – not one of them remotely influential on the Brussels circuit – is that the previous ‘association agreement’ which benefitted the EU enormously should be reinstated as both a way of drawing more revenues from Algeria and allowing a break to EU companies wanted to penetrate local markets. It would also of course be a deft move in bringing Algeria closer to Brussels rather than remain isolated.

The original agreement allowed major European companies free access into Algerian markets, “destroying local enterprises while diminishing government revenue streams that could have been invested elsewhere through the absence of tariffs” according to Al Monitor.

According to a Chatham House expert, “between 2007 and 2018, it is estimated that Algeria lost around 6 billion euros in tariffs revenue,” Tin Hinane El Kadi claimed.

Algeria is currently hosting a joint military exercise with Russian troops in the area of Bechar near the Moroccan borders, which is part of what the concern is about from the group of 17 MEPs. The belief that the “inflow of Algerian petro-dollar into Russia will only fuel Putin’s invasion and aggression on the Ukranian people” is no doubt a common belief in Brussels and will chime with Ursula Von Der Leyen who is currently being investigated for her murky role in a vaccine deal with Pfeifer.

But what is sexed up by the obscure English language Rabat propaganda website is the influence of these 17 MEPs and their letter. Such letters are written all the time by members of the European parliament. This particular one is written by MEPs of no influence whatsoever and not endorsed – critically – by the more powerful MEPs on the foreign affairs committee.

Also, the suggestion in the Euractiv article is that the expired EU agreement with Algeria is “re-opened” which, in theory would allow a number of tariff free goods to flow in both directions. This was misreported by the Rabat journal which linked it to the hard line stance that America appears to be leaning towards with calls for sanctions against Algeria making news recently.

A number of members of Congress want to use a recent law called CAATSA which punishes countries which buy arms from Russia.

“This recent Algeria-Russia arms purchase would clearly be categorized as ‘a significant transaction’ under CAATSA. Yet, no sanctions available to you have been crafted by the State Department,” stated the letter to Blinken, which is signed by 27 members of Congress.



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