Code 237083
PublishDate: Tuesday, July 13, 2021 09:10

Lavrov says U.S. wants to establish military presence around Afghanistan

The U.S. authorities want to dispose their military resources around Afghanistan to have an option to launch strikes at Afghanistan if needed, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday (July 12).

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Foreign forces, including the United States, are withdrawing after almost 20 years of fighting, a move that has emboldened the Taliban to try to gain fresh territory in Afghanistan.

That has prompted hundreds of Afghan security personnel and refugees to flee across the border into neighboring Tajikistan and raised fears in Moscow and other capitals that Islamist extremists could infiltrate Central Asia, a region Russia views as its backyard.

The CSTO, the six-nation Collective Security Treaty Organisation () dominated by Russia, said on Thursday it was ready to use all its resources if necessary to contain a crisis on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan, the Interfax news agency reported.

The .S._exit from Afghanistan is a headache for Moscow which fears spiraling fighting may push refugees into Central Asia, create a jihadist threat and even stir civil war in one ex-Soviet state, a former Russian diplomat and two analysts have told Reuters.

Russia operates its biggest foreign military base in close to the Afghan border and Moscow has already pledged to help Dushanbe if needed. Interfax cited the CSTO as saying that military contingents from other member countries were not yet needed in the area however.

The CSTO’s statement came as a Taliban delegation in held talks with Russian officials and sought to reassure their hosts that the group would not attack the Tajik border or use Afghanistan as a platform in future to launch attacks against Russia itself.

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