MOSCOW, August 31. /TASS/. Russia and Armenia as members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) want to see Afghanistan prosper and support decisions that would not push the country into the hands of terrorists and drug traffickers, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a press conference on Tuesday following talks with his Armenian counterpart Ararat Mirzoyan when asked what joint position Moscow and Yerevan hold on the Afghan issue as CSTO members.
"The position in favor of peace, prosperity and security in this region, peace and prosperity for the Afghan people and the decision that should rule out any future possibilities that Afghanistan’s territories can be used by terrorists, drug traffickers and other organized criminals," he said.
"Our approaches will be specifically formulated in the CSTO framework at the high-level meeting which will be held in mid-September in Dushanbe. This topic will also be discussed at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit which will be held in the Tajik capital after the CSTO summit," Lavrov added.
Situation in 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.
On Tuesday, the Times of India reported that the Taliban is considering several Afghanistan governance models which would be acceptable to Afghans, citing Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.
Six countries make up the CSTO: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.