Russian diplomat Sergei Lavrov said on Friday (07/16/2021) the “hasty” departure of Americans from Afghanistan had worsened the situation in the country, with the Taliban leading a number of successful attacks.
“In recent days, we have seen the situation in Afghanistan deteriorate rapidly. In light of the rapid withdrawal of US and NATO groups, military and political uncertainty in and around the country has increased significantly,” Lavrov said, citing Russian news agencies.
“Under the current circumstances, there is a real risk of instability spreading to neighboring states,” the Russian foreign minister said while attending a regional conference with Central Asian countries in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“The Afghan crisis exacerbates the threat of terrorism and the problem of drug trafficking, which has reached unprecedented levels,” Lavrov said.
Despite his criticism of the withdrawal of US troops, the Russian foreign minister later said the US mission was a “failure”. “This is something that everyone recognizes, including the United States,” Lavrov was quoted as saying by Russian agencies in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he attended an international conference on cooperation with Central Asian countries.
In early May, using the withdrawal of foreign forces, the Taliban launched an offensive that allowed them to capture vast rural areas far from traditional strongholds in the south, especially in the north and west of the country.
They have seized several key border posts with Iran, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and have surrounded several provincial capitals.
Russia, a regional power close to the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, is concerned about instability in the region maintaining military bases.
gs (afp, ap, dpa)