Tunisia: NATO Official in Tunis Amidst Concerns Over Russian Influence

by | Apr 20, 2024 | Diplomacy, Political, Security, Tunisia


During the week 15 April 2024, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Dutch Navy Admiral Rob Bauer visited Tunisia for various engagements with civilian and military leaders as concerns have grown over Russia’s expanding influence in North Africa.  

Admiral Bauer met with Defense Minister Imed Memmich as well as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabil Ammar. Admiral Bauer used the opportunity to affirm Tunisia’s engagement in the Mediterranean Dialogue and openness to expanding cooperation to include participation in military exercises. 

As the Russian war in Ukraine continues, NATO members are wary of expanding Russian influence outside of Europe. In North Africa, Russia’s footholds in Algeria and Libya have been particularly concerning to the West. 


As Russian influence continues to grow across the Sahel and North Africa, NATO is likely highly interested in shoring up existing relationships across the region. With long-standing military partnerships in place with Western governments, including the US, Tunisia is unlikely to turn distinctly toward Russia or China, at least in the short- and medium-term. 

Tunisia’s generally non-aligned approach to foreign policy will likely continue to garner attention from various great powers and their alliances. While potentially disconcerting to traditional Western partners, Tunisia remains willing to sustain relationships with a broad range of governments and leaders. This posture limits the depth to which partnerships can develop but allows Tunisia to seize a broader range of opportunities aligned with its interests. 


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