MOSCOW, September 27. /TASS/. The upcoming Russian-Algerian anti-terrorist exercise ‘Desert Shield 2022’ is a routine activity that’s not directed against third parties, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement on Tuesday.
The diplomat pointed out that the Russian-Algerian ground-force drills would take place in Algeria between September 16 and 28. "These counterterrorism drills are a routine activity based on the approved program of our military partnership with Algeria. I would like to emphasize that just like any other military exercise that Russia takes part in, they are not directed against third parties," Zakharova noted.
Russia’s Southern Military District announced earlier that the drills were expected to involve about 80 troops from motorized infantry units stationed in the North Caucasus, as well as about 80 Algerian service members. During the exercise, the two countries’ troops will practice searching for, detecting and eliminating terrorist groups in desert areas.
The first joint Russian-Algerian tactical drills, held in Russia’s North Ossetia region in October 2021, involved about 200 Russian and Algerian troops, as well as some 40 pieces of military and special equipment.
The Southern Military District’s 2022 combat training plan includes the participation of the district’s troops in joint drills with the armed forces of Algeria, Egypt, Kazakhstan and Pakistan.