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Monday, September 27, 2021

taliban: Russia to fast track arms supply to Central Asia after Kabul airport attack


Russia has decided to fast track supply of arms to Central Asian republics bordering Afghanistan to deter any spillover impact from the terror groups including ISIS. The decision comes after Thursday’s terror attack outside Kabul airport.

There was a request for defence supplies from Central Asian republics, where Moscow has military bases. A senior Russian official on Thursday said that it has received new orders for arms and helicopters from Central Asian republics bordering Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country. The Republics are worried with the Taliban takeover and the attack on Kabul airport.

“We are already working on a number of orders from countries in the region for the supply of Russian helicopters, fire arms and modern border protection systems,” Alexander Mikheev, the head of Russia’s state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told RIA Novosti news agency. While Russia remains cautiously optimistic about the new leadership in Kabul, it has warned of terrorists entering neighbouring countries as refugees. Drills involving members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a military alliance led by Moscow, are also scheduled in Kyrgyzstan from September 7 to 9. The drills will focus on “the destruction of illegal armed groups that have invaded the territory of an CSTO member state”, according to an Interfax news agency report.

Uzbekistan and Tajikistan earlier this month held joint military exercises with Russia close to their borders with Afghanistan. While the Taliban has said it does not pose a threat to Central Asian countries, the ex-Soviet republics in the region have been targeted by attacks seen as allies of Afghan Islamists.

The partnership with Central Asia comes amid Russia’s increasing coordination with India on the Afghan theatre and its future. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the media in Moscow on Friday that his country was worried about the developments in Afghanistan and condemns the terrorist attacks in Kabul. ISIS and Taliban are banned in Russia. Similarly, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said during his visit in Italy on Friday, “it is top priority for Russia to ensure security of its southern borders and its Central Asian allies in the light of the situation in Afghanistan.”



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