MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Washington’s plans to reduce its presence in Afghanistan can only be analyzed once it takes place, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday.
"Of course, we need to look at what will happen in reality," he said. "Let’s recall the previous US president and those promises concerning the withdrawal from Afghanistan, which were made six or seven years ago, and compare them to reality. That’s why we prefer to wait patiently and analyze what is happening in actual fact."
"The Kremlin is primarily interested in ensuring that the situation in Afghanistan remains stable, and that there is no place there for the proliferation of radical ideology and extremist influence, and that ISIL (former name of the Islamic State terror group, outlawed in Russia - TASS) and other fanatical organizations do not grow stronger there," Peskov stressed.
"Since Afghanistan has a long border with our partners in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the CIS, it is crucial for us to make sure that everything that is done there does not result in the destabilization of the situation," he emphasized.
US President Donald Trump earlier ordered the Pentagon to draw up a plan for the withdrawal of about 7,000 US troops from Afghanistan. The issue at hand is about one half of the US forces in that country. The pullout may take several months.