Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday that the situation in Afghanistan had a tendency to swiftly deteriorate, but vowed that Moscow would defend its regional allies if necessary.
“We are closely watching what is happening in Afghanistan where the situation has a tendency to swiftly deteriorate including against the backdrop of the hasty exit of American and other NATO troops,” said Lavrov said speaking during a visit to Laos.
“They were unable to achieve visible results when it comes to stabilising the situation during the decades they spent there,” he said.
Taliban have taken dozens of districts after foreign troops began last phase of withdrawal from Afghanistan in May. More than 1,000 Afghan forces retreated to Tajikistan amid militant advances.
Tajikistan has decided to mobilize its 20,000 military reservists to bolster the country’s border with Afghanistan.
Lavrov, said Russia was ready to use its military base in Tajikistan, one of its biggest abroad, to ensure the security of its allies in the region.
Lavrov added that military obligations that Russia had undertaken in the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), a post-Soviet security bloc it leads and whose other members include Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, remained in full force.
CSTO representatives had visited the Tajik-Afghan border, most of which Russian officials say is reportedly under Taliban control from the Afghan side, in order to assess the situation and report back, Lavrov said.
“We will do everything we can, including using the capabilities of the Russian military base on Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan, to prevent any aggressive impulses towards our allies,” Lavrov said.