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No plans to deploy troops to Afghanistan — post-Soviet security bloc chief

"The CSTO is a purely defensive military-political organization. It can deploy defensive forces only within the zone of its responsibility," Stanislav Zas pointed out
Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Stanislav Zas Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS
Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Stanislav Zas
© Alexei Nikolsky/Russian Presidential Press and Information Office/TASS

MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) adheres to a defensive policy and doesn’t plan to deploy its troops to Afghanistan, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas said on Tuesday.

"These fears are absolutely ungrounded. The CSTO is a purely defensive military-political organization. It can deploy defensive forces only within the zone of its responsibility," he said in an interview with the Mir 24 television channel when asked whether the organization plans to deploy troops to Afghanistan.

After the Biden administration announced the end of its US military operation in Afghanistan and the launch of its troop pullout, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on an offensive against Afghan government forces. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, and gained full control over the Afghan capital within a few hours. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani said he had stepped down to prevent any bloodshed and subsequently fled the country. Vice President Amrullah Saleh said that under the constitution, he becomes "the caretaker president" in the absence of the president and called for armed resistance against the Taliban.

The northern province of Panjshir is the only pocket of resistance to the Taliban. It is led by Ahmad Massoud, a son of Ahmad Shah Massoud (1953-2001), a once influential leader of Afghanistan’s Tajik community who fought against the Taliban back in the 1990s.

Western nations are evacuating their nationals, embassy staff and Afghans who worked for them. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the defense ministry to evacuate Russians and citizens of CSTO countries and Ukraine.

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