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EU: MEPs demand review of agreement with Algeria over links with Russia

November 24, 2022 at 10:27 am

Members of the European Parliament at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. [FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP via Getty Images]

A French magazine has revealed that seventeen Members of the European Parliament are demanding a review of the EU association agreement with Algeria over the North African state’s links with Russia. Algeria is alleged to have provided financial and logistical support to Moscow in its war against Ukraine.

According to Jeune Afrique, the MEPs submitted a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen last Wednesday requesting a review of the EU-Algeria Association Agreement signed in 2002 and in force since 2005. The group of parliamentarians is led by Andrius Kubilius, former Prime Minister of Lithuania and head of the European People’s Party (EPP, Christian Democrats).

The signatories are from Lithuania, France, Denmark, Estonia, Sweden, Bulgaria, Finland, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. They pointed out some examples of incidents which “prove” Algeria’s support for Russia against Ukraine.

READ: Russia welcomes Algeria’s desire to join BRICS

On 2 March, for example, Algeria abstained from voting on the UN resolution which demanded that Russia should stop using force against Ukraine immediately. A month later, Algeria did not vote in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution suspending Russia’s membership of the Human Rights Council. Likewise, it did not vote on a resolution on the “illegal” annexation by Russia of four Ukrainian regions on 12 October.

According to the MEPs, these abstentions are indications that Algeria supports “Russia’s geopolitical aspirations”. Moreover, they wrote, Algeria is “among the four largest buyers of Russian weapons in the world.”

The MEPs emphasised that any flow of funds to Russia is a violation of Article 2 of the 2005 Association Agreement, which insists on “respecting democratic principles and fundamental human rights, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” They urged the European Union to take steps to ensure that its partners do not fund the Russian government by buying military equipment, and called for the bloc to demand that Algeria should ratify the Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates international trade in conventional arms, and came into force on 24 December, 2014.