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Military Drills in Gas-Rich Algeria Put Focus on Russian Ties

  • North African state is among top 3 buyers of Russian weapons
  • Algeria has resisted Western pressure to curb Russia relations

Algeria and Russia began their first joint military exercises on Algerian soil amid Western concerns over Moscow’s deepening ties with the North African nation that’s a key energy supplier for Europe.

The Desert Shield anti-terrorism training began Wednesday in the sparsely-populated Bechar province, near Algeria’s border with long-time rival Morocco, the Russian state news service Sputnik reported.