TASHKENT, July 16. /TASS/. The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating, and there is a risk that instability will spread to neighboring countries, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, addressing the plenary session of an international conference dubbed "Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities" on Friday.
"Unfortunately, we have recently seen the situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorate. Following the hasty withdrawal of US and NATO troops, uncertainty has spiked in terms of how the military and political situation in the country and around it will unfold. The Afghan crisis exacerbates the terrorist threat along with the issue of drug trafficking, which has reached an unprecedented level," Lavrov pointed out. "Clearly, in such a situation, the risk is real that instability will spread to neighboring countries," he cautioned.
"We believe that plans to promote transportation, logistics and energy projects connecting Central and South Asia should take the security situation on the ground into account," the Russian top diplomat noted. "A successful implementation of economic initiatives involving Kabul will only be possible if a comprehensive solution is found to the domestic conflict in Afghanistan," he said.
According to the Russian foreign minister, achieving a sustainable peace in Afghanistan should remain a priority for collective efforts both in the region and on the international stage.
On April 14, US President Joe Biden announced plans to end Washington’s operation in Afghanistan, the longest overseas military campaign in American history. As of July 13, more than 95% of US troops left the country. Meanwhile, the security situation in Afghanistan began to deteriorate as the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) is mounting offensives in several directions. The movement claims to have taken control of about 85% of Afghanistan, including regions along the border with Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.