Russia ready to use army base in Tajikistan as crisis in Afghanistan escalates

A critical phase of the military conflict in Afghanistan has started against the background of the strengthening of the radical Taliban movement (terrorist organization, banned in Russia), Afghani Defence Minister Bismilla Khan Mohammadi said, NDTV reports.

“We admit that there is a war raging in Afghanistan, and that the military situation in the country is extremely sensitive,” the minister said. 

He stressed that national security forces, supported by local resistance, will make every effort to protect the civilian population.

The state of affairs in Afghanistan has aggravated recently the United States and NATO started withdrawing their troops from Afghan territories on May 1. US President Joe Biden said that the US military would leave the country completely by 9/11. Turkey plans to ensure the security of the airport in the capital of Afghanistan after the US troops leave the country.

Meanwhile, the Taliban militants continue their offensive and have reportedly approached the border with Tajikistan. The Taliban attacked the troops stationed near the border and seized three checkpoints, while Afghan soldiers retreated into Tajik territory. In this regard, many experts assumed that Russia may expect an influx of refugees from Central Asia.

Russia ready to help Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, following the talks with his Laotian counterpart Salensai Kommasit, said that the crisis in Afghanistan was deteriorating rapidly.

"We are closely following what is happening in Afghanistan, where the situation tends to deteriorate rapidly, including in the context of the hasty withdrawal of American and other NATO troops," the Russian Foreign Ministry said. 

According to Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin held telephone talks with presidents of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These two countries border on Afghanistan and Russia. In addition, Putin maintains contact with other leaders of Central Asian states.

Earlier, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, during a meeting of the Security Council, instructed the Minister of Defense of the republic to mobilize 20,000 servicemen to regulate the crisis on the border and eliminate tensions there. 

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also said that Russia would continue fulfilling its obligations under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and will do everything to suppress aggression. He noted that representatives of the organization visited the border zone to assess the current situation.

"We will do everything, we will use capabilities of the Russian military base on the border of Tajikistan with Afghanistan, in order to prevent any aggressive encroachments against our allies," Sergei Lavrov said. 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on July 5 that Moscow was not negotiating issues related to the deployment of Russian troops in Afghanistan. National Security Advisor to President of Afghanistan, Hamdullah Mohib, also denied information about negotiations with Russia on arms supplies to the country.