New records show that Russian officials are poised to talk to Algeria about the issue of potential arms deliveries in the form of aircraft and air defense systems.
In the past, Russia has routinely sold military equipment to Algeria as well as some of its neighbors, for instance, Egypt. However, there is news that negotiations are now underway with both Algeria and Turkey.
Russian officials apparently plan to hold deliberations on these issues at the Russian MAKS-2017 Air Show, according to Dmitry Shugaev, Russia's director of Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation.
Although Russia and Algeria have made deals in the past, these successful transactions haven’t come without some obstacles, as in 2008, when Reuters reported Algeria returned 15 MIG airplanes, claiming the aircraft didn't conform to a desired standard. At the time, Westerners saw this tension as a chance to try to move into the market, although Russia has dominated the North African arms market with billions of dollars in sales over the last several decades.
Commenting on the talks, grass-roots geopolitical scholar and local activist Ken West in Charlottesville, Virginia said the Russians may be trying to counter economic declines related to the price of oil.
“Putin -- he's been beat down economically,” West told Maghreb News Wire on Aug. 24. “The price of oil is way down because of natural gas.”
West said the American drive to convert and improve eastern ports and move liquefied gas has put a damper on Russian prospects for energy exports.
“The Russians are hurting,” West said.
In addition, he said, analysts can’t omit the consideration of both coal and renewables as energy sources, where fossil fuels are waging their own fight with solar and wind.
“Trump is denying climate change,” West said, “But how far is that going to go? Renewables are moving in.”
In general, West said, the Russians can make big capital gains by selling military hardware, as well as by re-inforcing their geopolitical influence in the region.