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Russian security chief says economic development key to Afghanistan overcoming woes

December 26, 2017, 17:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia's security chief says Moscow anticipates economic development and the implementation of joint ventures will help improve the current dismal state that Afghanistan is still mired in

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© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, December 26. /TASS/. Russia anticipates economic development and the implementation of joint ventures will help improve the current dismal state that Afghanistan is still mired in, Russian Security Council chief Nikolay Patrushev said in an interview with the weekly newspaper, Argumenty I Fakty, on Tuesday

"We are confident that carrying out joint projects can serve as an efficient tool in fighting the spread of terrorism and the ideology of extremism," the security chief said reminding readers about recent consultations between the security agencies and his talks with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

"A number of solid deals followed, including in the energy, agricultural, military-technical and other sectors. About 30 Russian companies have voiced their interest in working on the Afghan trajectory," Patrushev said.

He regretted "ongoing terrorist attacks in Afghanistan". "Despite the years-long presence of the American military in the country, we’ve seen a sharp deterioration in the security situation," he stressed. According to the security chief, ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS is the former name of IS, Islamic State, a terrorist group outlawed in Russia) is gaining ground in Afghanistan, posing a serious threat to Central Asian states and Russia.

"The number of gunmen in this organization is about 4,000 people and its ranks could swell even more. As usual, one of the key sources for financing terrorism come from drug trafficking revenues, which have grown more than 40-fold since the Americans came to Afghanistan," Patrushev went on.

"However, it is impossible to defeat terrorism without achieving national reconciliation taking into account the interests of all ethnic groups," he emphasized. He listed "the country’s economy, the growing welfare of the population, declining unemployment, and higher levels of education" as the main conditions to bring peace back to Afghanistan.

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