Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister stressed that Moscow maintains constant contact with Uzbekistan amid developments in Afghanistan and is ready to assist Tashkent if it receives a request.
“Of course, we are concerned about the escalation of the conflict inside Afghanistan and its negative impact on neighboring countries in Central Asia,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rodenko told Sputnik, according to News i. Therefore, we are in constant contact with our Uzbek colleagues.
“Uzbekistan is our ally and strategic partner, which shares a border with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” he said. We are ready to provide additional assistance to our friends in the event of such a need and a proper appeal from Uzbekistan.
Russia will take steps to prevent an invasion of Tajikistan if necessary, the deputy foreign minister told Sputnik. “If necessary, the Russian Federation will take all measures to prevent aggression or territorial provocations in accordance with the spirit of strategic partnership and alliance between Russia and Tajikistan,” Rodenko said.
The diplomat added that the two countries maintain close ties, both sides between the Ministries of Defense and through the mechanisms of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Units of 201 Russian military bases based in Tajikistan, in turn, are conducting regular exercises. Russia will continue to support Tajikistan in strengthening its defense capabilities, Rodenko said.
Afghanistan on the Tajik border is witnessing an increase in Taliban violence. Earlier this month, the Taliban took control of almost all of Afghanistan-Tajikistan borders.
Rudenko added that the consequences of the hasty withdrawal of the United States and some NATO countries from Afghanistan have become apparent: the northern provinces are relatively slowly becoming a critical point. The Taliban almost completely control the border with Tajikistan. Numerous international terrorist organizations, such as the branches of ISIS and al-Qaeda, are seeking to establish themselves.
The Russian diplomat added: “In addition, foreign militants are being brought to Afghanistan from war zones in the Middle East and North Africa.”
“People from Central Asia are actively recruited into the ranks of such organizations,” Rudenko said. Drug production has reached its highest level.
The Russian official stressed that the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan is a direct threat to Central Asia. We share the concerns of our neighbors in the common area. The importance of concerted efforts to minimize the negative impact of these threats on the security of our countries was noted at the Fourth Summit of the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Central Asia on July 16 in a joint statement in Tashkent.