Experts rule out Russia behind Algeria’s response to Spain: ‘This is not a Moscow pike’

Beyond Algeria’s firm and angry response After Madrid’s return to the Sahara by Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, some see the Russian hand. ᲒAzeti The information was published by El País Cites high community sources who support this theory. Other tion from The Confidential We are talking about some of the calls made by the Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares, where he seemed to convey the same opinion to the interlocutors. However, neither Albares nor Foreign Affairs have spoken about it in public, nor do they want to.

The one who has done this twice in recent days is the first vice president of the government, Nadia Calvino. “I’ve seen Algeria get closer to Russia, and I’m not surprised when we see this happening. Said on Catalan radio. Shortly afterwards, he again insisted: “I have been observing Algeria’s position on Russia’s position for some time. It is obvious that we are in a very difficult international context from a geopolitical point of view and this affects all relations. What we have. With third countries. “

Experts consulted by elDiario.es rule out the possibility that Moscow forced Algeria to secede from Spain, arguing that the main reason is Spain’s return to the Sahara, which upset the 40-year difficult balance between Algeria and Morocco. “Political initiative and the Algerian response have been developed in Algeria and by Algerians, it’s another matter that the Russians like and are informed,” explains Eduard Soler, a researcher at the CIDOB think tank. Algeria is not South Ossetia, it is not Moscow’s pawnbroker, nor has it ever been during the Cold War.

“Russia has never had political influence in Algeria. The only influence is in the army, because it is the main supplier of weapons,” said Akram Kharief, an independent analyst and Algerian journalist. While Russia uses gas as a weapon against European countries, Algeria maintains supply and even increases exports to Europe. “It would not have happened if it had been linked to Moscow,” he added. “Algeria is the largest defense market in Africa and the sixth largest arms importer in the world. Russia has privileged access to this market.” “I do not see Spain’s position as very central to them, but it is true that Moscow will always be satisfied when it sees problems and distractions for the EU and NATO,” Soler said.

Many in Algeria accuse Spain of establishing this relationship in order to internationalize the conflict. ” Pseudodiplomat [Albares] He said that at the head of this crisis is neither more nor less Russia, Putin himself. This is a shameful call from the US and NATO to rescue a petty minister who has been oppressed by his own evil behavior. ” Pointed to a strict article The official Algerian press agency published this week. “He offers Russian horror to persuade his European peers to support him,” he added.

“This strategy comes from Spain, and the goal, which is not very intelligent, is to build a narrative for its sale to the EU and NATO,” Harif said. “It’s very naive, because as long as Spain confronts Algeria on this issue, Italy and Germany are stepping up their ability to import gas from Algeria. It will be unsuccessful because other European countries are not buying it,” he added.

“Involving Russia in the equation is a strategy, I do not know if it is very successful,” said Irene Fernandez Molina, a professor at the University of Exeter who specializes in Megrelians and author of the book Western Sahara After 40 Years. , Try to internationalize and Natonate The crisis of some members of the Spanish government. “

“Algeria’s decision is due to a change in the formal position of the Spanish government in the Sahara, which threatens to raise fundamental questions in the official Algerian discourse and, in addition, Algeria’s position in the region is very important. “And that Spain sided with Morocco so sharply and considered good relations with Algeria in itself,” added Fernandez Molina.

Since independence in 1962, Algeria has become one of the great leaders of the non-aligned movement, a concept it still maintains as the principle of its foreign policy. This position allowed him to act as a mediator throughout history. “The 1970s and 1980s were the glorious days of Algerian diplomacy, which ousted the apartheid South African regime from the UN General Assembly in 1974 and introduced the Palestinian Liberation Organization a year later. In 1975, Algeria brought in Saddam Hussein. “The Shah of Iran came to the negotiating table and successfully negotiated the release of American hostages in Tehran in January 1981,” Khalifi wrote in an analysis with Frances Gilles. “Update of Algerian Military Doctrine” .

“A certain legacy of this compromise is that Algeria is free in regional affairs and does not obey the directives of Russia or other major powers such as the United States,” said Fernandez Molina. “This can be seen in issues such as the war in Ukraine, where Algeria abstained from voting in the General Assembly. The fact that he did not vote to defend Russia’s position is a sign of his desire to maintain some independence. Another example. “Segidism is not in the Libyan war, where they supported opposing positions.”

During the Cold War, Algeria used “anti-imperialist” policies and socialist economics “closer to Moscow’s vision than to Washington’s,” Soler explains. “In the post-Cold War world, Algeria is committed to diversifying relations and trying to have good relations with Italy, Aznar’s Spain … and above all, it is using the window of opportunity that 9/11 gives to get closer to the United States. From common interests: the fight against terrorism. ”

“Neither Morocco nor Algeria are satisfied with having good relations with a country with which they have better relations,” the expert concluded, adding that it was easy to see Morocco as an ally of the United States and Algeria as an ally of Russia. “Morocco was not at the UN to vote on Ukraine because it did not want to offend Russia. Morocco is not a US pawn and is moving its parts the way it wants.” Fernandez Molina agrees: “Interpretation of tensions in the Maghreb against Russia within NATO has been simplified. It is not only simplistic, but also irresponsible because it distorts analysis and the search for solutions to the current crisis. This is the way of internationalization. Therefore, the escalation of this crisis with the involvement of other actors. ”

Another example of Algeria’s independence is the case of military bases, Harif said. “The USSR tried many times and failed and they kept the Russian bases away for decades. The US also put a lot of pressure in the early 2000s to have a presence in the Tamarnassi region and failed. Now they are in Niger.” .

Algeria is worried not only about a change in Spain’s position, but also about the way it was declared, as it happened through a statement from the Moroccan royal house. President Pedro Sanchez told Congress that Spain “followed a position that was also expressed by other very powerful EU countries, such as France and Germany.” However, Spain has taken another step and, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, Suddenly he became the strongest European supporter of the Moroccan autonomy plan.

Spain now claims that Morocco’s autonomy plan for the Sahara (instead of a referendum on self-determination) presented in 2007 is “the most serious, credible and realistic basis”. The German stock exchange, in turn, is limited to the qualifications of the Moroccan plan “Significant contribution“France, for its part, is not using it too much and says the plan is a ‘serious and credible basis for consideration.'” He notes that this is a “realistic, credible and serious” proposal.

Haiza Amira Fernandez, lead researcher at the Royal Institute of Elcano, told elDiario.es: “Regional in nature and where there is no precedent for autonomy.”

Source: El Diario

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