ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — Russia’s foreign minister met Tuesday with the president of Algeria, marking 60 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries with hopes of deepening ties.
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov transmitted an invitation from Russian President Vladimir Putin for Algeria’s leader, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, to visit Moscow, Algeria’s official APS news agency said.
The stated purpose of the visit would be enhancing bilateral ties in all domains, from military to humanitarian, APS reported.
Russia has long furnished the North African nation with military hardware. Lavrov, evoking “military and technical cooperation,” expressed Russia’s satisfaction with “the confidence placed in us (by Algiers) in this domain.”
Gas-rich Algeria is in a delicate position regarding its longstanding ties to Russia. With drastically less capacity, it is now increasingly eyed by countries looking to reduce their reliance on Russian energy amid the war in Ukraine.
It was not known whether Lavrov and Tebboune talked about the energy issue.
However, the war in Ukraine was among the topics discussed. After his meeting with the Algerian leader, Lavrov said he informed Tebboune “of the latest developments of the military operation” in Ukraine. He did not elaborate.
He expressed his “high respect” for Algeria’s position. “We especially noted the understanding of our Algerian friends of the whole complex of problems that is strung on the current situation on the Ukrainian territory.”
Lavrov praised the position of Algeria and an Arab contact group it led in meetings last month with Russian and Ukrainian officials as “balanced and objective.”
The group traveled to Moscow in early April, then met with Ukraine’s foreign minister.
Lavrov also met Tuesday with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra and attended a wreath-laying ceremony at the monument to heroes of the 1954-1962 Algerian War of Independence against France, which dominates the Bay of Algiers.