Russia on Afghanistan
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Soviet Russia learned the lesson of Afghanistan the hard way.
A near-decade of failure ended with its February 1989 withdrawal.
President at the time Mikhail Gorbachev said US ruling authorities should have admitted failure and pulled out from Afghanistan years earlier.
Calling Bush/Cheney’s aggression and occupation “a bad idea from the very beginning,” he stressed its straightaway failure, adding:
“Like many similar projects, it was based on an exaggeration of the threat and not very clear geopolitical intentions.”
“Unrealistic attempts to” control the country in pursuit of its interests were doomed to fail.
Gorbachev cut Soviet Russia’s losses and pulled out to end years of war.
Asked on Thursday if Moscow intends working with the Taliban, Sergey Lavrov said the following:
Its forces don’t yet control the entire country.
During US occupation while fighting raged, Russia called for “transition(ing) to a nationwide dialogue with participation of all opposing Afghan forces and ethnic and religious groups in that country.”
With the Taliban empowered in Kabul “and most other cities and provinces, (Moscow) advocate(s) a national dialogue that will make it possible to form a representative government which, with the support of the Afghan public, will proceed to develop final arrangements for multi-ethnic” rule.
What Russia earlier recommended “has the best chance to succeed since the situation has already taken on a region-wide dimension, and neighboring countries and (others) further away are responding to it.”
Russia stands ready to work with the Taliban in implementing “the Moscow format,” Lavrov explained.
The Kremlin welcomes Taliban leadership saying it supports dialogue with other political forces in the country.
Separately, Moscow is concerned about “threats to international peace and security caused by (US/NATO supported) terrorist(s)” in Afghanistan, Russia’s UN envoy Vassily Nebenzia stressed, adding:
Instead of combatting them in the country and regionally, US/NATO regimes use ISIS, al-Qaeda and likeminded jihadists as proxy foot soldiers where deployed.
“Has Afghanistan ceased to be the place where terrorist and drug-related threat comes from? No, it has not,” Nebenzia stressed.
Russia “will interact only with those political forces in Afghanistan that will not be connected to terrorists.”
“We stand for ensuring inevitability of punishment for crimes related to terrorism and conjugation of global efforts for this purpose.”
Combatting terrorism and its nation state supporters is a world community obligation.
Russia urges cooperation among UN member states in pursuing this aim.
Its Kabul embassy continues to operate normally.
Its staff is willing to work with the Taliban in restoring peace and stability to the country, along with combatting (US/NATO supported) terrorist threats.
The Taliban guaranteed the safety and security of Russian personnel in the country.
Taliban efforts are underway to establish order for Afghans and foreign nationals in all parts of the country it controls.
Its spokesman announced an amnesty and pledge to respect the rights of all Afghans, including women.
He also vowed to combat terrorist threats and rid the country of illicit drug production.
Russia stands ready to help the Taliban restore what benefits all Afghans positively.
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