geopolitics-00923
Afghan soldiers stand guard at a road checkpoint outside Bagram Air Base, after all US and NATO troops left Zakeria HASHIMI AFP

Moscow and Washington are in contact over the possible consequences of the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine.

“The situation is ambivalent. I think that based on a set of political, geopolitical, and domestic political reasons, the US will eventually move towards reducing its military presence in Afghanistan,” he pointed out. “It will have multidimensional consequences, we are discussing this all with the Americans,” Ryabkov added.

According to him, there are channels for dialogue between Russia and the US at various levels. In particular, both countries’ special envoys for Afghanistan maintain close contact, and the Russian foreign minister and the US secretary of state occasionally discuss this issue. Ryabkov also said that this topic had been touched upon at the Geneva-hosted Putin-Biden summit.

“Out of all of its aspects, I would like to emphasize that the movement of US permanent military presence from Afghanistan to its neighboring countries is unacceptable for us. We made it perfectly clear to the Americans, saying that it would greatly change not only our perception of the developments in this most important region but also our relations with the US. We warn them against such steps and frankly discuss this issue with our Central Asian allies, neighbors, and friends, as well as with other countries of the region whom it also concerns,” the senior Russian diplomat stressed.