Russia warns Biden to stay out of Central Asia after US troops quit Afghanistan
Joe Biden discusses reason US invaded Afghanistan
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Sergei Ryabkov, who has served as Deputy Foreign Minister in Moscow since 2008, said Russia has “cautioned” America against establishing US bases in central Asia after the withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan is complete on September 11. It was previously reported that the Biden administration had considered Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan as potential areas to station American troops in the region. However, all three countries have forged close economic ties with Russia, and Tajikistan is a member of the Kremlin-led military bloc, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
The US has previously used military bases in the neighbouring nations of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
According to The Times, Ryabkov said: “We are warning them against such steps” and added “we have told the Americans about this directly and frankly”.
Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, also claimed that former Soviet states in central Asia risked becoming a “hostage” to US foreign policy if they agreed to host American bases.
Nonetheless, Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State, has already held talks with foreign ministers in Dushanbe and Tashkent about how Washington can keep a grip on counterterrorism and security in the region after their troops have left Afghanistan.
The gradual American withdrawal from Afghanistan coincides with the Taliban’s claim last week that they had control of more than 85% of the nation.
With the Taliban making significant inroads in the area and tens of thousands of people being displaced following the recent increase in conflict, concerns have been raised about the possibility that the region could suffer from instability if the western-backed government in Kabul was to collapse in the future.
The Taliban has recently been accused of killing 22 Afghan commandos close to the nation’s border with Turkmenistan in Dawlat Abad, a claim the Taliban spuriously denies.
A spokesman for the Taliban instead suggested the videos were fake and the commandos were taken alive.
But footage recovered by the American network CNN showed a bystander pleading for the commandos’ lives to be spared, and one witness even recalled how “they brought them into the middle of the street and shot them all”.
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