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PublishDate: Wednesday, July 14, 2021 10:55

Russia warns US against deploying troops in Central Asia near Afghanistan

Russia has strongly warned the United States against deploying its troops in the former Soviet Central Asian nations following their withdrawal from Afghanistan, a senior diplomat said in remarks published on Tuesday.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei said that Moscow conveyed the message to Washington during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in last month, the Associated Press reported.

The warning comes as the U.S. military said last week that 90 percent of the withdrawal of U.S. troops and equipment from Afghanistan is complete. Biden said the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on August 31.

“I would emphasize that the redeployment of the American permanent military presence to the countries neighboring Afghanistan is unacceptable,” Ryabkov said.

“We told the Americans in a direct and straightforward way that it would change a lot of things not only in our perceptions of what’s going on in that important region, but also in our relations with the United States.”

He added that Russia has also issued the warning to Central Asian nations, AP reported.

“We cautioned them against such steps, and we also have had a frank talk on the subject with our Central Asian allies, neighbors and friends and also other countries in the region that would be directly affected,” Ryabkov said in an interview published in the Zhizn magazine.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emphasized that Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan are all members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and any presence of foreign troops on their territories must be endorsed by the security pact, AP reported.

He added that none of those countries have raised the issue.

Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan both host Russian military bases. Kyrgyzstan, which hosted a U.S. military base that supported operations in Afghanistan, closed it in 2014.

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