Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov, staying in India, has said the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan "will be difficult militarily and will take a long time." Speaking at a press conference in New Delhi, he said the future of Afghanistan is of "immense strategic interest" to Russia. Moscow "has long, and sometimes alone, supported the Northern Alliance," Klebanov said. Speaking of the future political system in Afghanistan, the deputy prime minister spoke out in favour of a "consolidated government that would take into consideration the interests of numerous movements and sections of Afghan society." Klebanov said Russia and India hold "absolutely the same positions on all political issues, including the developments in Afghanistan." The September 11 tragic events in New York and Washington have seriously changed the world, the deputy prime minister said. "Russia and India, which face international terrorism every day, have long warned the civilized world about it but, unfortunately, those words were not heeded," Klebanov said.
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Russia's Aerospace Forces are prepared to repel any possible counteroffensive of the Ukrainian forces, a Russian pilot said