Exercises by Russian troops and other states of the Collective Security Treaty Organization have ended near the Tajik-Afghan border. The maneuvers lasted six days and were intended to demonstrate Moscow’s readiness to protect the city of Dushanbe in the event of an incursion from the south, the Reuters agency reported.
Over four thousand soldiers, as well as over 500 units of equipment, including tanks, artillery and attack aircraft, took part in the maneuvers of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (ODKB) countries, which, apart from Russia, also include Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. .
The commanders of the ODKB as well as the deputies of the ruling United Russia emphasized that the exercises “showed to the whole world the unity of views of the member states of the organization on the existing challenges and threats.” – They showed that no intrusions into the territory of Tajikistan will be allowed – said Stanisław Zaś, the secretary general of ODKB.
Tense relations between the Tajik government and the Taliban
Relations between the Tajik government and the new Taliban leaders in Kabul were strained from the outset, the Reuters agency recalled, adding that Afghanistan is home to millions of Tajiks, constituting the second largest ethnic group.
According to Russian media reports, the Taliban allegedly entered into an alliance with an ethnic Tajik group of militants seeking to overthrow Tajikistan’s president, Emomali Rahmon, Reuters reported.
A Russian base is stationed in Tajikistan with over seven thousand soldiers. The unit is armed with tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and helicopters. A few years ago it was reinforced with Uragan missile artillery systems, later the Russians also supplied Iskander missile systems.
Talks in Moscow
While Russian and ODKB troops exercised near the Afghan border, talks about the situation in Afghanistan were held in Moscow with the participation of a Taliban delegation. The Russian authorities called on them not to use the territory of Afghanistan against third countries, especially neighboring countries in Central Asia.
“Russia’s initiative to organize talks is part of its efforts to strengthen its influence in the region after the United States withdraws forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban takes control of that country,” the Reuters agency reported. She added that Moscow was primarily concerned about the risk of instability in Central Asia and the activities of Islamic fighters from Afghanistan.
Main photo source: Reuters