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Niger and the USA. Russian soldiers near an American base

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“There are Russian soldiers present at Air Base 101located near the Diori Hamani International Airport in Niger's capital, Niamey, where US troops are also stationed,” Reuters reported on Friday, citing an anonymous, high-ranking US defense official.

As the agency's source noted, Russian soldiers they use a separate hangar and do not mix with American military personnel.

Niger. Russians close to the US base

Deployment of Russian military personnel at the base puts US and Moscow forces in close proximity at a time when relations between the two countries are increasingly strained over Washington's support for Ukrainy. “It's not the best situation, but in the short term manageable“- said the quoted American official.

Russiaare not located in a separate complex and they do not have access to US forces, nor to our equipment. I am always focused on the safety and security of our troops. But right now I don't see a more serious problem, when it comes to their protection – said Lloyd Austin, US Secretary of Defense, at a conference in Honolulu.

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Reuters, quoting a senior official from the US Ministry of Defense, reported that Russian military personnel entered the air base in Niger. This came on the heels of the Nigerian military junta ordering withdrawal of almost a thousand US soldiers from this West African country.

Niger. Russians near the American base

Russians They appeared near the American base in Niger after most of the US troops left. To an African country Russian mercenaries arrived in early Aprilfollowing the decision of Niger's ruling junta to order American soldiers to leave the country.

Pentagon reported that American troops will leave the Sahel region, but did not provide an exact schedule. Currently The Americans are in talks with Côte d'Ivoire, where the commander of AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), General Michael E. Langley, had just completed his visit. As places for new bases, the Americans are also considering Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, countries of the Gulf of Guinea, which are strategically located and can ensure control of the Sahel.

Of these countries, Nigeria is in the best position and there are many indications that Bola Ahmed Tinubu's administration may succeed favorable attitude to adopt a possible defense pact with the USA.

Niger. They wanted to cooperate with Russia

Let us recall that at the end of March this year, Niger announced that it was invalidating the agreement concluded with the USA in 2012. security pact. It allowed American military personnel to conduct military operations in the African region from Niger Saheluextending from Senegal after Eritrea.

Then Washington he stated that he was afraid that withdrawal from Negrowhich in December 2023 expelled those stationed there Frenchmay bring this country into the orbit of influence Russia. Just like the neighboring ones Mali, Burkina Faso and Chad – wrote the Nigerian portal Vanguard in an analysis in March. And according to a US Naval War College professor, Christopher Faulkner“Russia is already working on strengthening military relations with Niger.”

The American Institute for the Study of War believed then that the Nigerian junta had signaled from the very beginning, when it overthrew President Mohamed Bazoum in July 2023, that wants to develop cooperation with like-minded authoritarian regimes such as Russia and Iran. “These new partners are better suited than France or the US to help the junta increase the regime's security and enable a more aggressive and militarized counterterrorism strategy,” ISW wrote in its analysis at the time.

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