President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends.
We just held talks with President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, Mr Tebboune, who is on a state visit in Russia. The talks took place in a businesslike atmosphere and were quite productive.
This is borne out by a solid package of signed interstate, intergovernmental and interdepartmental documents aimed at further strengthening relations between our countries in various diverse areas. Journalists have just seen the exchange of some of these documents.
I will mention one of them – the Declaration on Enhanced Strategic Partnership between our countries. This is a most important bilateral document with clear guidelines for interaction in the long-term perspective.
Overall, the Algerian President’s programme here is extremely intensive and substantial. He has met with the Prime Minister of Russia and the speakers of both Federal Assembly chambers. Mr Tebboune also attended the Russia-Algeria business forum and the unveiling ceremony for a square named after Algerian national hero Emir Abdelkader in the centre of Moscow. I’d like to note that in tsarist times, I believe, Alexander II awarded him with the Order of the White Eagle in his time.
Tomorrow, we will continue talking with Mr President at the main plenary session of the 26th St Petersburg International Economic Forum in St Petersburg.
I would like to emphasise that we are sincerely happy to receive, here in the Kremlin, our friend, President of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune since Algeria is our key partner in the Arab world and in Africa. Russian-Algerian relations are truly constructive and mutually beneficial. They rest on respect and consideration for each other’s interests, and we continue developing them in the spirit of friendship and mutual support.
Our bilateral cooperation goes back a long time. Last year marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties. As a reminder, our country helped our Algerian friends fight colonialism and was among the first to recognise the independence of Algeria. It contributed to the development of Algerian statehood and the strengthening of the young republic’s position in the international arena.
Our specialists, engineers and construction workers, helped build major industrial and energy infrastructure facilities, as well as important manufacturing enterprises in Algeria. Many of them, after modernisation, continue to function successfully to this day and make a significant contribution to Algeria’s economic development.
Today, we discussed in detail a wide range of issues, including bilateral relations in the political, economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as priority items on the regional and international agendas.
With regard to economic cooperation, Algeria has for many years been among Russia’s leading trading partners in Africa. Suffice it to say that in the first quarter alone, our trade grew by over 73 percent and mutual trade in agricultural products doubled.
Our interaction in the energy sector – I will come to this a little later – is quite significant, with Algeria and Russia being oil and gas producing countries.
The joint Russian-Algerian intergovernmental commission [for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation] is a permanent body. Its regular, 11th meeting is scheduled to be held in Moscow in the second half of the year and will focus on deepening mutually beneficial business and investment contacts and promoting large-scale projects.
Without doubt, our efforts to expand mutual transactions in national currencies are crucial. They will shield mutual trade from third countries’ impact and adverse developments on international foreign exchange markets.
As I’ve already said, Russia and Algeria are successfully developing cooperation in the energy sector. Major Russian energy companies have long been working in the Algerian market. Thus, in cooperation with the Algerian company Sonatrach, Gazprom is taking part in developing the El Assel oil and gas field in the east of Algeria’s section of the Sahara Desert. Transneft, Stroytransgaz, Power Machines (Silovyye Machiny) and other major Russian companies have strong business ties in Algeria as well.
We know that Algeria is interested in developing its national nuclear energy industry. The Rosatom State Corporation has unique experience and competences in this area. Its technology is unmatched in the world. It is ready to take part in joint projects, including those in the non-energy use of nuclear technology, for instance, in medicine and agriculture.
There are good opportunities for Russian-Algerian business cooperation in a number of other areas, including the auto industry, transport and agricultural equipment manufacturing, the peaceful use of outer space, communications and telecommunications. Importantly, Russia is ready not only to supply equipment and organise its after-sales maintenance but also to localise production in Algeria and to educate Algerian professionals.
Russia has traditionally done much to educate highly qualified Algerian national personnel. Overall, about 20,000 Algerians have received education at our universities, and about 1,500 Algerian students are continuing their education now. Considering Algerians’ high interest in studying in Russia, we have decided to increase the quota for state-funded capacity by one third for Algeria.
During the discussion of the most pressing regional and international issues, we agreed that the views of our states are identical or similar on the majority of them. Russia and Algeria are striving to coordinate their positions within multilateral associations. Considering that next year Algeria will receive non-permanent UN Security Council member status, we are motivated to intensify our interaction on all urgent issues on the UN agenda.
And, of course, we consider joint efforts with our Algerian colleagues to stabilise world energy markets very important, including in the OPEC Plus format and at the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
Regional discussions focused on the state of affairs in Libya, Sudan, Western Sahara, and the Palestinian-Israeli settlement. Since Algeria is a member of the Contact Group of the League of Arab States on Ukraine, I outlined for my Algerian colleague Russia’s view of the core causes behind the conflict and our assessment of the current situation. Just a short while ago, before entering the auditorium, the President and I discussed this in detail, and we are grateful to Algeria and the President of Algeria for his willingness to act as mediator.
Certainly, we discussed Russia-Algeria interaction in the military and defence technology spheres, which has enjoyed success over many decades. Russia assists Algeria’s law enforcement agencies in fighting the terrorist threat. In November 2022, the Russian-Algerian joint anti-terrorist exercise Desert Shield was held in Algeria.
Generally speaking, we maintain a regular dialogue with our Algerian partners on a wide range of issues related to current security challenges and threats in the African region and the world at large.
On a separate note, I would like to say that this year can be described as a special year for Russia’s relations with Africa. Our contacts with African countries are as intensive as ever and the President’s visit clearly shows it.
On Saturday, I plan to receive a delegation of heads and high-ranking representatives from several African countries to discuss an initiative put forward by the African states regarding Ukraine.
As a reminder, the second Russia-Africa summit will be held in St Petersburg next month. The President has an invitation to the summit, and I very much hope that he will be able to lead the Algerian delegation in person.
In closing, I would like to say that the visit by the President of Algeria is a success, which, without a doubt, will give a boost to comprehensive progress in Russia-Algeria strategic partnership for the benefit of the people of our countries.
Thank you very much for your patience and time.
President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria Abdelmadjid Tebboune (retranslated): In the name of Allah!
Mr President, my friend,
I would like to begin by once again saying what a joy it is to be in the Russian Federation. I wanted to thank you for the hospitality and for the warm welcome: we feel at home here. This visit is taking place as part of our bilateral efforts.
The talks with the President of the Russian Federation were candid and friendly, which is indicative of the high level of our relations. We agreed with everything that Comrade Putin said. We talked as friends about bilateral relations in all areas and ways to strengthen them.
We have a shared perspective on the regional and international situation. We are very pleased that our opinions overlap. We agreed on Western Sahara and the Sahel, the political issue, and the situation in the Middle East at large, and we also talked about Libya.
This meeting gave us an opportunity to say a big thank you to the Russian Federation for supporting Algeria in its efforts to become a non-permanent member of the [UN] Security Council. This means relations between Algeria and the Russian Federation are good, which we can see from the adoption of a new Declaration on Enhanced Strategic Partnership between the two countries, which we have signed.
Our relations go back over 60 years, and we have implemented a new roadmap of cooperation between our two countries. We have signed several agreements and a Declaration of Partnership, which includes our plans to expand intergovernmental relations. We look forward to seeing good growth dynamics in the coming years.
We will promote bilateral relations, and we will make use of the experience of the Russian Federation in all areas. The economy and the manufacturing industry are open for cooperation.
I would like to take this opportunity and ask investors to invest in Algeria, which currently boasts a favourable environment for doing business. We have adopted a new law on investment.
To reiterate, our points of view on all issues overlap. Russia is a friendly country, and we share a common opinion.
All Algerians thank Mr Putin for naming a square in Moscow after Emir Abdelkader. Thank you very much again, Comrade President. For the sake of history, I would like to remind everyone that the Tsar [Alexander II] awarded Emir Abdelkader the Order of the White Eagle. Under Putin, we were presented with a square named after Emir Abdelkader.
Yesterday, I met with the Algerian community. Also yesterday, I presented an award to a Russian man who took part in mine clearance in Algeria. Many thanks go to the Russian army for taking part in mine clearance. Many regions were cleared of mines. The Russian Federation lent Algeria a helping hand in cleanup efforts following nuclear tests in the desert [conducted by France] as well.
Many thanks to Comrade Putin and the Russian Federation, a friendly country. Thank you very much for trusting us, we will meet your expectations. In closing, I would like to thank Comrade Putin for strengthening our political partnership and I thank him for his personal efforts.
Long live Russia, Russian-Algerian friendship and Russian-Algerian cooperation!