Russian President Vladimir Putin stated Wednesday that battle-hardened militants from Iraq and Syria are “actively” coming into Afghanistan.
“The situation in Afghanistan is not easy,” Putin stated throughout a video convention with safety service chiefs of ex-Soviet states.
“Militants from Iraq, Syria with experience in military operations are actively being drawn there,” he stated.
“It is possible that terrorists may try to destabilise the situation in neighbouring states,” he added, warning that they may even attempt “direct expansion”.
Putin has repeatedly warned about members of extremist teams exploiting political turmoil in Afghanistan to cross into neighbouring ex-Soviet international locations as refugees.
Whereas Moscow has been cautiously optimistic concerning the new Taliban management in Kabul, the Kremlin is anxious about instability spilling over into Central Asia the place it homes navy bases.
Within the wake of the Taliban takeover, Russia held navy drills with ex-Soviet Tajikistan — the place it operates a navy base — and in Uzbekistan. Each international locations share a border with Afghanistan.
Tajikistan’s nationwide safety chief, Saimumin Yatimov, for his half advised the video convention that he had registered an “intensification” of makes an attempt to “smuggle drugs, weapons, ammunition” from Afghanistan into his nation.
Afghanistan has lengthy been the world’s largest producer of opium and heroin, with earnings from the illicit commerce serving to fund the Taliban.
Earlier Wednesday French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Tajikistan’s chief Emomali Rakhmon in Paris, vowing to assist the Central Asian state keep stability.
Whereas the Taliban has stated it doesn’t pose a risk to Central Asian international locations, the ex-Soviet republics within the area have beforehand been focused by assaults attributed to allies of Afghan Islamists.
Final week the Kremlin’s envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, stated Russia will invite the Taliban to Moscow for worldwide talks on Afghanistan scheduled for October 20.