MOSCOW, July 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev exchanged views on regional issues in a phone call, focusing on the escalation in Afghanistan, the Kremlin said on Monday.
"The heads of state exchanged views on regional issues, primarily in the context of the escalation in Afghanistan. While touching upon bilateral issues, [they] expressed appreciation of the development of Russian-Uzbek relations of strategic partnership," the statement says.
The two presidents agreed to maintain contacts, the press service said.
On Monday, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow was concerned about the escalation in Afghanistan’s border regions in the wake of the US troop withdrawal. Peskov said that the Russian leadership was carefully following the situation in that country and stated that "destabilization is taking place there."
When asked whether Russia had considered deploying an additional contingent to Tajikistan to help it defend its borders, the Kremlin spokesman pointed out that the Russian army and border guards would monitor the escalation in Afghanistan’s border regions and would make appropriate decisions.
On Monday, the press center of the Border Troops of Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security said that after fighting against supporters of the radical Taliban movement (banned in Russia), more than 1,000 Afghan troops had retreated into Tajikistan. Over the past two weeks, several incidents have been reported involving Afghan soldiers being forced into Tajikistan.
On February 14, 2003 Russia’s Supreme Court recognized the Taliban movement as a terrorist organization. It is outlawed in Russia.