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Gas Supply: NATO Considers Algeria ‘Security Risk’ for Europe

Rabat - A confidential report from NATO has expressed “worrying” concerns regarding Algeria’s recent decisions, particularly the Algerian government’s threats to cut gas supply to Spain.

The news website Business Insider shared the findings of the confidential report, which compared Algeria with Russia.

“But for NATO, the case is clear: the report specifically indicates that there is a risk that Algeria, like Russia, would use its gas supplies as a means of exerting political pressure,” Business Insider quoted the findings of the report as saying.

The NATO confidential assessment followed Algeria’s decision to suspend a 20-year treaty of friendship with Spain.

Earlier this week, the Algerian government announced the freezing of the treaty, citing Spain’s new position on Western Sahara.

Spain “regretted” Algeria’s decision, emphasizing that it is working on a “constructive but firm response” to Algeria’s decision. 

The EU also expressed concerns regarding Algeria’s government decision, urging the Tebboune administration to reverse the act.

Citing the Spanish government’s “violation of international legality” in the Western Sahara dispute, the Algerian Press Agency (APS) reported on Wednesday that “Algeria has decided the immediate suspension of the Treaty of friendship, good-neighborliness and cooperation that it concluded with Spain on 8 October 2022 and which has provided, thus far, a framework for the development of relations between both countries.”

Amid pressure from the EU, however, Algiers sent out another statement suggesting that it never froze relations with Spain, and that such a claim “exists in fact only in the minds of those who claim it and those who hastened to stigmatize it.”

Spain’s endorsing Morocco’s Autonomy Planas the most serious and credible solution to end the Sahara dispute has frustrated Algeria.

The Algerian regime recalled its ambassador to Madrid in March after Spain’s new position and threatened to end its gas contract with the European country.

The Algerian regime issued a communique days after Spain’s new position, saying that it would cut gas supply to Europe if Sanchez’ government sells Algeria’s gas to Morocco.

“Energy is the basis for western affluent societies, which is why energy supply can also be used as a strategic weapon,” Business Insider said, referring to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

In May, Germany accused Russia of using gas supply as a “weapon.”

The accusations followed Russia’s decision to reduce its supply to the European country.

In April, Russia also threatened to cut off European gas supply, with the EU viewing  Putin’s policy to make foreign gas buyers pay for the product in Russia’s currency as a “blackmail.”

Following the conflict in Ukraine, the EU has announced a plan seeking to reduce their dependence on Russia’s gas.

The European Commission warned that the impact of the conflict created an urgent need to end the EU’s dependency on Russian gas imports.

In May, the EU body presented a $220 billion plan to address challenges and crises resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The EU argued that the bloc’s energy dependence “is used as an economic and political weapon and cost European taxpayers €100 billion per year, and tackling the climate crisis.”

Comparing Russia with Algeria in the confidential report stemmed from the backlash after the Algerian regime decided to end the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline.

In October 2021, Algeria announced its decision to suspend the contract for the pipeline that had been supplying Spain with gas through Morocco.

Business Insider said NATO is worried due to Algeria’s threat “at the end of April” that it would stop its “gas supplies if Madrid sold Algerian gas to other countries.”

“In the long term, this jeopardizes Algeria's status as an energy supplier for Europe,” according to NATO’s concerns as reported by the news outlet.

Source: Morocco World News.

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