Russia Increases Defense Bases Near Afghanistan Border in Tajikistan

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KABUL: The Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shogiu, expressed Moscow’s concerns with the growing movements of Islamic State and deteriorated security situation in Afghanistan, saying his country was boosting combat capacities of its base in Tajikistan to respond to any potential threats from insurgent groups.

Shoigu, who was in Tajikistan on Wednesday, said that the Taliban advances within the territory are quite “organized” while describing the US withdrawal from Afghanistan as “hasty.”

He stated that Tajik military personnel were being trained at Russian military universities and Tajikistan-affiliated facilities, asserting, “We provide everything needed for military training.”

“We are paying increased attention to strengthening the combat capabilities of our base and refining plans to jointly repel possible insurgent infiltration,” said the Russian defense minister.

These statements from the Russian official comes as recent spike in violence in Afghanistan and Taliban’s rapid advances reaching the Afghan-Tajik border, worried neighbor countries of security vacuum that could pave way for the resurgence of violent militant groups, particularly IS in the region.

Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are set to hold joint military drills near the Afghan-Tajik border next week.