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MOSCOW, April 14. /TASS/. The main aims of deploying international forces in Afghanistan in 2001 have not been reached, as drug production in the country has grown by more than 40 times, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolay Patrushev said on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately, Washington’s disastrous policy not only failed, but also exacerbated the already existing problems [in Afghanistan]. The main tasks of deploying international military contingent in Afghanistan, in particular destroying al-Qaeda and the Taliban, were not fulfilled. More than that, radicals feel very confident in several provinces of the country," Patrushev said.
The Security Council secretary also noted that during US operation Enduring Freedom, "the production of opiates on the territory of Afghanistan grew more than 40 times."
The situation in Afghanistan is one of the key issues of Central Asian security, Patrushev said. It is important to support "the process of national reconciliation" in the country, he added. The security council secretary called for continuing work on developing a common political approach to Afghan affairs in the framework of SCO.
Talking about security concerns in Afghanistan, Patrushev noted that there are "footholds in the north of the country, from which extremists penetrate neighboring Central Asian countries."
On Monday, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Secretary General Nikolay Bordyuzha said the situation in Afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating.
The Taliban continues to operate in the country, and Islamic State (IS) militants appear in the volatile region, Bordyuzha said. "The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate. The activities of the Taliban does not subside. There are problems with the combat capability of the Afghan army and security services. Representatives of IS appear in Afghanistan, including citizens of CSTO countries," he added.
The US has recently halted troops withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving around 10,000 servicemen there until the end of 2015. The decision on pulling out American troops from Afghanistan will not be reviewed, Bordyuzha said. "Representatives of the alliance [NATO] and US will stay, bases will stay, though some of them were handed over to the Afghans, but US servicemen stay there. I don’t think the situation will return to the way it was," he noted.
Problems in Afghanistan should be solved by Afghans themselves, Bordyuzha stressed. "We can only render assistance. We should not try to impose our rules, our vision of democracy there, like the Americans are doing. There is a president there, a prime minister, a parliament - they should try to reach national accord and sustainable development," he noted.
CSTO is closely following the developments in Afghanistan, Bordyuzha said. Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said Russia was strengthening its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan because of concerns over the situation on CSTO southern borders.