The Republican senator accuses Algeria of being "one of the largest purchasers of arms from the Russian Federation"

Senator Marco Rubio calls for sanctions against Algeria over Russian arms purchases

photo_camera AFP/MANDEL NGAN - United States Capitol in Washington, DC

In the midst of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and with the recent Ukrainian counter-offensive that has managed to regain control of Kharkov, US Senator and Vice-Chairman of the Intelligence Committee Marco Rubio has called on the Senate to pass a package of sanctions against Algeria over Russian arms purchases.

Rubio points out that Algeria has violated the "Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act" after producing a report that Algeria is one of "the top four buyers of Russian arms worldwide after culminating in a $7 billion arms deal in 2021", noting that any "influx of money from any source to Russia will only further enable the Russian war machine in Ukraine". 

He stated that "Russia continues to pose a threat to global stability" and therefore "sanctions must be appropriately targeted at parties that enable Russia's destabilising actions". 

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The Republican senator has also sent a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken demanding sanctions against Algeria, accusing the North African country of being "one of the largest purchasers of military weapons from the Russian Federation".

Rubio's call comes in the context of both US and European actions to isolate Russia, which have approved a series of economic sanctions packages against Moscow as a rejection and denunciation of the invasion of Ukraine, now in its seventh month.

Last year alone, Algeria concluded a 7 billion euro arms deal with Russia. In this deal, Algeria was interested in the purchase of two advanced Russian fighters, the Sukhoi 57 and Sukhoi 34, after having previously signed the purchase of 12 Sukhoi 32 aircraft, which would correspond to the version of the Sukhoi 34 sold by Russia.

However, one of Algeria's main interests was to acquire the Sukhoi 57, a fighter that Russia had not sold to any country until now. In addition, Algeria was also the first country to obtain the S-400 air defence system from Russia, a system that the North African country has been acquiring since 2014.

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Although at the time of these purchases Russia had not yet begun its offensive on Ukraine, now, seven months after the start of the invasion, Algeria has not stopped buying Russian weapons at a time when the North African region is involved in a major arms race.

In the midst of the boycott of Russia by the United States and the European Union, Algeria continues to purchase Russian arms, which has led to the country facing the possibility of sanctions.

Americas Coordinator: Jos茅 Antonio Sierra

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