Russian MoD: CSTO Must Be Ready for Possible Infiltration of Terrorists From Afghanistan

Russian MoD: CSTO Must Be Ready for Possible Infiltration of Terrorists From Afghanistan

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The border between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is controlled by the Taliban movement*, and it is important for Russia that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) be ready for a possible infiltration of terrorists from Afghanistan, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday.

“It is important for us that the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan has also been taken under the control of the Taliban. All the checkpoints and the threats that came from Afghanistan earlier are drug trafficking, this is the penetration of terrorists into our country through Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and of course, [these threats] do not diminish,” Shoigu said at the Territory of Meanings youth forum.

Russia has military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Shoigu noted.

“Most of the officers of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan are trained in our higher educational institutions. We are also engaged in the modernization of the army of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan. In Tajikistan, we have the 201st base, there is also a base in Kyrgyzstan,” he said.

Shoigu also outlined that the armed forces of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan must be prepared to repel possible provocations by the Taliban.

“It is extremely important for us that the armed forces of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan are ready to repel possible [provocations], although today the Taliban, its leaders say that they will not undertake any destructive attempts at crossing the border, at attacking adjacent territory,” he said at the forum.

The Russian Defense Minister praised a recent joint military drill between Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan near the Afghan border, saying that similar exercises will be held in the future.

The joint drills of the Russian, Uzbek and Tajik armed forces took place from August 5-10 at the Kharb-Maydon training ground in Tajikistan.

“The exercises were carried out at the highest level and we will continue holding such drills,” Shoigu said, quoted by the Rosmolodezh youth affairs agency.

Violent clashes and terrorist attacks continue to ravage Afghanistan despite ongoing peace talks between the government and the Taliban in the Qatari capital of Doha. The continuing fighting has affected the Afghan-Tajik border, with dozens of Afghan border troops pushed by the militants into the neighboring country.

*The Taliban is recognized as a terrorist group in Russia and is outlawed

Sputnik / Russian Defense Ministry

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