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West gave Russia no data on helicopters that could assist IS in Afghanistan, diplomat says

February 12, 13:24 UTC+3 MOSCOW

As Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Alexander Mantytsky stressed, Russia has repeatedly raised this issue

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Afghan security forces in Kabul

Afghan security forces in Kabul

© AP Photo/Rahmat Gul

MOSCOW, February 12. /TASS/. Moscow has not received any information from Western partners on the origin of helicopters that could be involved in transporting terrorists to Afghanistan, Russia’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Alexander Mantytsky told TASS on Monday.

"Unfortunately, neither official Kabul nor our Western partners have been able to give any accurate and credible information on the origin and the goals of unidentified helicopters flying over the territory of the IRA [the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan] and possibly involved in transporting terrorists of the IS [Islamic State terrorist organization outlawed in Russia] and the equipment they need," the Russian ambassador pointed out.

As the Russian diplomat stressed, Russia has repeatedly raised this issue, including in the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

"We expect that the joint work with those countries that are sincerely interested in establishing peace and stability in the IRA will make it possible to expose those who are rendering support to terrorists," the diplomat said.

"Such facts have to be exposed and cut short," the Russian envoy stressed.

US forces’ bigger role in Afghanistan

Broader powers for US forces in Afghanistan should not violate the country’s sovereignty and the region’s interests, Mantytsky said.

The Russian envoy thus commented on the US new strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia.

After a dramatic surge in terrorist activity in the region, "an impression is being created that the use-of-force pressure by the US in Afghanistan has not met the expectations that had been pinned on it," the Russian diplomat noted.

"We expect that the broader powers for the US forces in Afghanistan will not violate the sovereignty of that country and will not infringe on the interests of the countries in the region," he pointed out.

The Russian diplomat confirmed Moscow’s readiness to "render Kabul assistance in training and equipping national security and defense structures as the basic guarantor of security in Afghanistan and participating in the promotion of the national reconciliation process."

"We confirm our openness to cooperation in these areas both with the United States and other interested partners," he added.

The Russian ambassador expressed concern over "predominantly military nature of the US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia."

"It is also regrettable that it fails to reflect properly the danger emanating from the Afghan wing of the Islamic State terrorist organization [outlawed in Russia], and the problem of Afghan narcotic drug production is fully ignored," the Russian diplomat stressed.

Anti-Russian rhetoric

The growing anti-Russian rhetoric in Afghanistan is aimed at distracting the global attention from mistakes on the part of the US and NATO in this region, according to Mantytskiy.

"Unfortunately, we are seeing a growing propaganda activity in Afghanistan directed against Russia and its policy in the region," the diplomat said. "Both the embassy and the [Russian] Foreign Ministry repeatedly commented on the issue of supporting the Taliban movement that had been artificially brought to media, without any facts or evidence."

The diplomat highlighted that "a staged campaign to discredit our country" is behind these "absurd fabrications."

"This is being done not just to shift responsibility, but to distract attention from multiple mistakes made by the US and the NATO members in more than 16 years of their military presence in Afghanistan," Mantytskiy added.

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