Russia: Military ready to protect Tajikistan border with Afghanistan

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti): Moscow is concerned about the growing activity of militants of the terrorist group “Islamic State” in Afghan-istan, said Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova.

“We are concerned about the growing activity of the ISIS terrorist group in Afghanistan. Lately, ISIS members have been marked by a major terrorist attack near a mosque in the center of Kabul, as a result 20 civilians were killed and more than 30 were injured,” she said.

According to Maria, the group has intensified hostilities in the south of the country.

“We note with particular concern the activities of ISIS in the area of the Russian embassy in Kabul. Five militants of this terrorist group were eliminated there on October 4. We call on the Afghan authorities to take additional measures to ensure the security of the Russian diplomatic mission, as well as Russian citizens in Afghanistan”,- added Maria.

Moscow, if necessary, is ready to take decisive measures to help Tajikistan in case of aggravation on the Tajik-Afghan border, said Zakharova. “The situation in Afghanistan and on the Tajik-Afghan border is in the focus of our closest attention. Moscow and Dushanbe maintain contacts through the defense departments, border services, diplomatic missions. We continue cooperation in strengthening the defense capability of Tajikistan, its border service, taking into account all operational needs.”, said Zakharova.

She assured that the 201st Russian military base “is equipped with everything necessary to provide assistance to the government of the Republic of Tajikistan in case of aggravation of the situation.”

“If necessary, the most decisive measures will be taken in accordance with the principles of Russian-Tajik alliance and strategic partnership,” Maria added.

NATO’s decision to revoke accreditation from the staff of the Russian mission to NATO did not come as a surprise to Moscow, but surprised by its impudence, said Maria.

“Officially, the Russian side was notified of this on October 6. This step surprised the NATO members, but did not come as a surprise. He was surprised by his arrogance, because no official explanation of the reasons was given,” Zakharova said.

“Why was it not a surprise? Because the number of our permanent mission has already been reduced both in 2015 and in 2018. This is a consistent NATO line,” she stressed.

Zakharova said that Moscow will respond to NATO’s decision to expel the staff of the Russian permanent mission, and countermeasures are being worked out.

“I would like to cite one more fact, one more proof that the actions, actions and statements of NATO are both baseless and hypocritical… representative, not to be limited to contacts at the level of the person in charge. And now we get what we received,” Zakharova noted.

“The unwillingness of NATO and NATO members to interact has become definitively and irrevocably obvious. We will proceed from this when working out response measures, and they will follow,” the Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said.

“This trick of the alliance looks absolutely ridiculous against the background of their such voiced theses about the need to conduct a dialogue, resume the meetings of the Russia-NATO Council and much more, which was recently published,” Maria added.

Also, The situation on the Tajik-Afghan border remains calm and no tension has been observed, Russia’s special presidential envoy to Afghanistan, Director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Zamir Kabulov said on Thursday.

“No tension on the frontier has been observed. The rhetoric of the two sides was just overheated. I have no information about any tension so far,” the envoy noted.

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