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MOSCOW, April 5 (Itar-Tass) – Russia does not plan to deploy any military bases in Afghanistan, Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday.
“I would like to stress that there are no plans to station any military bases in Afghanistan,” he told journalists, commenting on media speculations about possible talks with NATO on military hardware repair bases in Afghanistan.
According to Antonov, Russia has always been and will be attentive to the Afghan government’s requests to help strengthen the country’s armed forces and enhance stability in the country. “If there are any proposals, we are ready to consider them. But there is no talk about any military bases in Afghanistan. Such reports are absolutely groundless,” he stressed.
“We are concerned over the situation that might develop in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force. I am absolutely sure that stability in Afghanistan is in the interests not only of the NATO countries, but in our own interests and in the interests of our partners from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO),” he said.
Russia, in his words, offers its assistance both to the International Security Assistance Force and its Afghan friends. “I think NATO and CSTO countries have a vast potential for cooperation in solving problems of stability and security in this enormous Asian space,” Antonov noted.
“Obviously, the situation in Afghanistan impacts the situation in neighboring countries. And if we look at the map, we shall see that its northern neighbors border Russia,” he said. “It means that the situation in this region influences national security of our country.”