NATO shows no readiness for cooperation on Afghanistan — CSTO Secretary General

MOSCOW (TASS): Cooperation between the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and NATO would be useful in terms of the neutralization of threats coming from Afghanistan but the North Atlantic Alliance demonstrates no readiness for such cooperation, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas said in an online briefing on Monday.

“As for cooperation with NATO, we expressed our readiness for the development of cooperation with NATO on all topical issues, threats, including on Afghanistan, rather long ago, also at the level of foreign ministers. Regrettably, no such readiness was demonstrated by NATO member states. That is why there is no sense in speaking about any steps,” he said. “But I still think that such dialogue and such cooperation would be in the interests of localizing possible threats coming from the situation in Afghanistan.”

He stressed that the issue of possible deployment of US troops on the territories of Afghanistan’s neighbors and CSTO members required additional consultations. “This topic is regulated by the CSTO charter. Naturally, such matters are to be discussed in the organization and require agreed decisions,” he said.

Earlier on Monday, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko told an extraordinary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council that he did not rule out that the US could plan to deploy its contingents in Afghanistan’s neighbors, including those that are CSTO members.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that under the constitution, he becomes “the caretaker president” in absence of president and called for armed resistance against the Taliban.

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