DUSHANBE, September 15. /TASS/. Members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in their joint statement on the situation in Afghanistan called on the country’s ethnic groups to refrain from armed confrontation, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas told reporters on Wednesday following a joint meeting of the CSTO Council of Defense Ministers, the CSTO Council of Foreign Ministers and the CSTO Committee of Security Council Secretaries.
"The statement calls on all Afghan ethnic groups to refrain from armed confrontation and take the necessary measures to normalize the situation, preserve civilian lives, restore peace, resume economic development and eradicate terrorism and drug crime in all their forms," he pointed out.
After the United States announced the end of its military operation in Afghanistan and the pullout of its troops, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) stepped up their offensive. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance, and gained full control over the Afghan capital. Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country. The Taliban announced a new government on September 7.