May 25, 2023 14:03 UTC
  • Russia: US seeking to destabilize region using terrorists in Afghanistan

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu accused the United States of aiming to exploit illegal armed groups in Afghanistan to destabilize the region.

Speaking at a meeting of the CSTO Defense Ministers in Minsk on Thursday, he described Afghanistan as a hotbed of instability, stating that the United States intends to use the potential of terrorist organizations to destabilize the situation in the region.

He further said the US organized the redeployment of “fighters from controlled gangs in West Asia to Afghanistan,” with the possibility of their infiltration into neighboring countries to carry out terrorist acts.

Highlighting the importance of coordinated efforts on the Afghan track, Shoigu emphasized the need for joint exercises, both bilateral and multilateral, to address the situation.

He criticized NATO countries for attempting to restore their military presence in the Central Asian region instead of focusing on Afghanistan's reconstruction after the hasty withdrawal.

Shoigu's remarks were made during his visit to Minsk, Belarus, where he joined counterparts from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member countries to discuss regional challenges and threats.

The meeting also involved discussions on upgrading the organization's crisis response system and various mutual interests. The CSTO consists of Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.