ZHERLITSINA N.A. Prospects of Cooperation Between Russia and the Countries of the Maghreb in the Light of New Global Challenges

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu4.2016.2.9

Natalya A. Zherlitsina

Candidate of Sciences (History), Senior Researcher,

Institute for African Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

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Spiridonovka St., 30/1, 123001 Moscow, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article examines the new realities of Russia’s foreign policy after the “Arab Spring” and the potential for increased Russian influence in the Maghreb. One of the consequences of the recent political upheavals in North Africa is the growth of terrorist threat – this factor draws particular attention to this region. The Maghreb is important for the promotion of Russian interests in the Arab world and the African continent. Russia and North Africa are seeking strategic cooperation, and these countries have long-term friendship and mutual interests in the political and economic spheres. Further increase of the interaction will strengthen bilateral relations, will make it easier to survive during the political and economic crisis. The article analyzes the formation, the current state and prospects of Russian-Algerian, Moroccan-Russian and Russian-Tunisian relations. Algeria is one of the leading economic partners of Russia on the African continent. The main areas of bilateral cooperation are the energy and military spheres. The growth of the terrorist threat in the Sahara-Sahel region prompted Russia and Morocco to deepen security cooperation. In the context of EU economic sanctions against Russia a priority in Russian- Tunisian and Russian-Moroccan trade relations is to enhance cooperation in the field of agriculture. Russia is a traditional exporter of Moroccan oranges and Tunisian olive oil. Promising areas of cooperation of Russia and Tunisia are the development of water resources and hydraulic engineering, infrastructure projects in the field of construction of roads, bridges, industrial facilities. Expansion of ties with the North African countries will allow Russia to increase influence in the region.

Key words: “Arab spring”, international terrorism, radicalization, Russian-Arab cooperation, trade, investments.

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Prospects of Cooperation Between Russia and the Countries of the Maghreb in the Light of New Global Challenges by Zherlitsina N.A. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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