MOSCOW, June 17. /TASS/. Russia does not believe that the pullout of the US military contingent from Afghanistan may increase threats for Central Asian countries, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
"We don’t believe that the pullout of US troops from Afghanistan is fraught with a growth in threats for Central Asian states. Rather, the presence of the US and NATO contingents is an irritant for the armed opposition and an obstacle for normalizing the situation in the country," the Russian diplomat said.
The Russian side expects the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the United States and the Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) in Doha on February 29 to lead to the complete pullout of foreign troops from Afghanistan, she said.
"We also proceed from the fact that the situation normalization in the country will allow the Afghan authorities to fight more effectively the threats of terrorism and drug crimes currently existing on the territory of the Islamic republic," the Russian diplomat added.
Russia is strengthening the potential of its military base in Tajikistan, Zakharova said.
"We consider these steps as an important condition for enhancing the security of the southern borders of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)," the Russian diplomat said.
The CSTO is implementing a set of measures aimed at reducing the tension at the Tajik-Afghan border, Zakharova said.
"Measures are also being worked out to enhance reconnaissance over the movements of militants and to monitor the most dangerous directions," the diplomat said.
The CSTO is ready for any scenario of the development of the military and political situation in Afghanistan, Zakharova stressed.
"The member states are taking joint efforts for strengthening the southern borders of the CSTO responsibility area, including the practice of holding drills with the collective forces contingents of this organization in the areas of Tajikistan bordering on Afghanistan," she said.