The hurried US and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan has sparked concerns in Moscow over the security of its Central Asian allies amid the Taliban’s continued advance. All of Afghanistan’s neighbours, including Russia’s Tajik partners, have beefed up border security in a bid to stop violence and instability from spilling over into their nations.
Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden discussed the possibility of exchanging information on the conflict in Afghanistan at their 16 June summit meeting in Geneva, the Russian newspaper Kommersant reports, citing sources said to be familiar with the situation.
The business newspaper provided no further information about any other possible “coordination” between the two countries on Afghanistan.
Commenting on the story, Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov confirmed to RBC that the situation in Afghanistan was on the agenda of the June summit, but did not comment on whether the discussions included talks about Russia’s Central Asian bases.
US special representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad similarly has not commented on the report.
Russia has a major military presence in Tajikistan, which is one of Afghanistan’s northern neighbours. Moscow’s Collective Security Treaty Organisation ally hosts the 201st Military Base in Dushanbe. The base houses at least 7,000 troops, several hundred tanks, armoured personnel carriers, artillery, at least one battalion of Orlan-10…