Russia cancels Algerian debts after military aircraft deal
By Lyes Aflou for Magharebia in Algiers – 14/03/06
In an interview in Algiers on Friday (10 March), Alexei Fedorov, general director of the aircraft manufacturer MiG, told the Russian TV television channel Rossia that Russia and Algeria signed contracts for the supply of military aircraft worth over $3.5 billion.
"I would not be breaking any great secret by saying that a large number of aircraft contracts have been signed for Su-30 MKs, MiG 29 SMTs and Yak-130s worth a total of over $3.5 billion," he said.
MiGs and Sus (Sukhoi) are fighter planes, while the Yak-30 is a training aircraft. The contracts are reportedly for 40 MiGs, 28 Su planes and 16 Yaks.
“the deal "represents a remarkable development ”
The signing of the contracts was accompanied by the cancellation of the debt owed by Algeria to Russia, which was accumulated during the Soviet era of the 1960s when socialism was an essential aspect of the Algerian political system. This debt, which arose from military deals, is estimated at $4.7 billion.
Sergei Chemezov, director general of the Russian state arms exporting company Rosoboronexport, told Rossia that the total value of Algerian military purchases from Russia, including aircraft, was in excess of $7.5 billion. "The Algerians will receive all the armaments they need within the next four years," the television channel added.
According to the Itar-Tass press agency, Russia is also preparing to provide Algeria with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems and around 40 T-90 tanks. S-300 PMUs are state-of-the-art anti-aircraft defence batteries, a surface-to-air system equally capable of destroying aircraft and enemy missiles.
Aside from the deal on debt and arms purchases, the two countries signed draft co-operation agreements between their chambers of commerce on both the promotion and protection of investments, including on non-double taxation.
APS reports that, "Algeria has pledged to purchase goods and services from Russia equal in value to the debt". It added in co-operation between the two countries, which are already linked by a strategic partnership agreement".
The presidents of both countries, who met face-to-face for three hours and were later joined by members from both delegations, called for further and more varied exchanges and the promotion of partnership in many fields and spheres of activity.
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