Niger Receives Russian Air Defense Systems, Technicians

This follows cancellation of military cooperation agreements with France and the United States.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:31 AM, April 15, 2024
  • 1099
Niger Receives Russian Air Defense Systems, Technicians
S-300 air defense system @Russia MoD

Niger state television has confirmed the arrival of Russian military trainers and air defense systems in the country, signaling a notable shift in Niger's defense partnerships.

Footage aired on state television showed a Russian Ilyushin-76 aircraft landing at Niamey airport, carrying military personnel and undisclosed military equipment, including air defense systems believed to be S-300s.

This development comes after Niger's recent decisions to terminate military cooperation agreements with France and the United States. Last year, Niger expelled France's Ambassador to Niamey, Sylvain Itte, following a military coup. In March of this year, Niger also terminated its military cooperation agreement with the USA, which maintains around 1,000 military and UAV bases in the country.

The arrival of Russian forces is expected to impact U.S. personnel and diplomatic efforts in Niger, particularly concerning joint counterinsurgency operations. Niger has been a significant partner for the United States in combatting jihadist groups in the Sahel region.

Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly engaged in discussions with Niger's military leaders in March, indicating Niger's desire to diversify its international partnerships and assert greater sovereignty.

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