President Putin concerned about Afghan-Tajik border situation, Taliban reject
Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the situation on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan is a major concern for his country. Speaking at a meeting with his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmon in the city of St. Petersberg, Putin said “the situation on the border with Afghanistan is now causing some concern and concern.” For decades, Russia has used Central Asian countries as a buffer, but with the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, it is now threatened by potential cross-border terrorism and extremism.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Putin said that to counter emerging regional threats, Dushanbe and Moscow have stepped up cooperation in military and other fields. To further substantiate this point, he said that his administration had already supplied arms and equipment to the Tajik armed forces. The aim, he said, was to counter threats from outside, especially those from Afghanistan. The same was reiterated by Rahmon who said he was ready to discuss regional and international threats with Putin.
Taliban call it “unwarranted”
Putin’s comments lambasted a response from the Taliban, who said the Russian president‘s concern was “unwarranted.” Speaking to media reporters on Tuesday, spokesman Enamullah Samangani said he saw no “real and potential threat” from Afghanistan to neighboring countries and the region.
Russia strengthens Tajik military bases
In September, the Russian Federation reinforced its military bases in Tajikistan with new machine guns. According to a report by The border post, a new batch of 12.7 mm heavy machine guns NSV “Utyos” recently entered service with the 201st Russian military base to improve its combat capabilities. Located in the cities of Dushanbe and Bokhtar, Tajikistan is home to Russia’s largest international military base. Notably, the weapons are specifically designed to destroy enemy manpower, lightly armored targets, fortified firing points, and air assets.
Although Russian President Vladimir Putin has opened talks with the Taliban, Moscow has expressed clear apprehensions against Islamist ideology destabilizing international borders. Meanwhile, Moscow and New Delhi have joined forces to protect Central Asian countries bordering conflict-affected Afghanistan. Notably, conflicts and violence have increased in Afghanistan since the Taliban took full control of the country, forming a government that includes internationally wanted terrorists. Moreover, the fall of Kabul to insurgent hands has also raised fears that neighboring countries, including Tajikistan, which shares an 843-mile-long border with Afghanistan, could be used to launch terrorist operations.
(With contributions from agencies)