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Afghanistan eager to buy Russian combat helicopters, says top diplomat

Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar pointed out that the Afghan side was waiting for Russia’s reply on this issue

MOSCOW, August 12. /TASS. Kabul has suggested buying Russian combat helicopters and is waiting for Moscow’s reply, Afghan Foreign Minister Haneef Atmar said in a live broadcast of the Ekho Moskvy radio station on Thursday.

"We have requested and suggested that we buy new helicopters from the Russian side to strengthen our Air Force. Naturally, we talk about buying these helicopters with our resources, our funds. I am waiting for Russia’s reply on this issue," the radio station’s website quoted the Afghan top diplomat as saying.

Clashes between the Afghan government troops and the Taliban radical militant group (outlawed in Russia) intensified after US President Joe Biden announced a decision on April 14 to wrap up the operation in Afghanistan that had been the longest overseas military campaign in the US history.

The United States started the troop withdrawal in May. Washington expects to complete it by late August. Afghan officials have repeatedly stated that the Taliban is intensifying its offensive in the country.