Russia to assist Tajikistan in case of mounting terrorist threat from Afghanistan
Russia will provide any necessary assistance to Tajikistan under its commitments in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in the event of mounting terrorist threats from Afghanistan as the U.S. pulls out its troops from that country, State Duma Defense Committee Head Vladimir Shamanov said on Thursday.
The senior Russian lawmaker made this statement ahead of a meeting with the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Council on Thursday. Shamanov is a member of the Russian delegation that will take part in the conference.
"We will surely provide comprehensive assistance to Tajikistan under the CSTO commitments [in case of the mounting terrorist threat]. Naturally, we won’t leave it [Tajikistan] alone," Shamanov assured.
The situation in Afghanistan will be discussed at the CSTO Parliamentary Assembly Council, he said. "I believe that this issue is more likely to be discussed from the viewpoint of assessing potential developments. As of now, and we talked with colleagues yesterday and today, the leadership of Tajikistan does not express such a serious concern," he pointed out.
This issue has to be kept under control from the standpoint of predicting possible developments, Shamanov said.
"Our committee is taking systemic measures to assess the situation. We cautioned that some terrorist groups would be airlifted by the aircraft of European countries and the United States from Iraq to northern Afghanistan. This was several years ago. That is, the situation is being constantly monitored," the senior Russian lawmaker stressed.
The head of the State Duma Defense Committee also reiterated Russia’s position with regard to the concerns over the situation in Afghanistan.
"The measures, including those taken by the Russian side, were outlined both by the [Russian] defense minister and the president [of Russia] to the effect that we need to think about providing the 201st military base in Tajikistan with the required capabilities," Shamanov pointed out, adding that Russian border guards were now "taking a number of organizational measures" in this regard, according to the information available to the lawmaker.
U.S. President Joe Biden announced on April 14 that the United States would launch the process of pulling American troops out of Afghanistan in May and complete it by September 11, 2021, although the previous administration of Donald Trump had signed a peace deal with the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) in Doha in February 2020, which stipulated the withdrawal of US and allied forces by May 1.