Russia and Niger, currently under military rule after a coup last year, have agreed to enhance their military cooperation, as announced by the Russian Defense Ministry on Tuesday.
Russian Deputy Defense Ministers Yunus-Bek Yevkurov and Alexander Fomin held discussions with Niger’s junta-appointed Defense Minister Salifu Modi on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of fostering relations between the two nations in the defense sector.
The parties agreed to take joint actions to stabilize the region, with a particular focus on enhancing Niger’s military preparedness.
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The Russian Defense Ministry, while not delving into specifics, expressed its intention to continue the dialogue with Niger on bolstering the combat readiness of its military forces.
Niger’s military council, led by General Abdourahamane Tiani, assumed power following the ousting of President Mohamed Bazoum in July 2023.
In a noteworthy move, the junta expelled French troops and terminated security agreements with the European Union, raising concerns among Western allies about Niger potentially becoming a new strategic ally for Russia in the region.
Adding to the diplomatic exchanges, Niger’s junta-appointed Prime Minister Ali Mahamane Lamine Zeine has also visited Moscow.
During the visit, Zeine aims to explore opportunities for expanding partnerships with Russia, particularly in the realms of defense, agriculture, and energy.
Niger’s significant uranium and oil reserves, coupled with its crucial role in combating Islamist militants in the Sahel region, underscore its economic and strategic importance for the United States, Europe, China, and now Russia.
The evolving dynamics in the region continue to attract global attention as geopolitical alliances take shape.