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9 Jul, 2021 14:07

As Taliban reaches Tajikistan border, Russia says it's ready & prepared to defend its close ally against Islamist terrorist group

As Taliban reaches Tajikistan border, Russia says it's ready & prepared to defend its close ally against Islamist terrorist group

The Russian Foreign Ministry has revealed that Moscow is ready to interfere in the situation on the Tajik-Afghan border, noting that it will defend its allies against any possible incursion over the frontier by the Taliban.

Speaking at a briefing on Friday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova revealed that two-thirds of the border is already under the control of the group, designated by Moscow as a terrorist organization.

Russia and Tajikistan are both members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a mutual defensive pact consisting of six former republics of the Soviet Union.

According to Zakharova, Russia's 201st military base in Tajikistan is equipped with everything required to defend the country.

“If necessary, additional measures will be taken to prevent provocations and aggravation of the situation,” she said.

Also on rt.com Taliban militants won’t be allowed to run riot in Tajikistan after Americans pull out of Afghanistan, top Russian General tells RT

The situation arose in Afghanistan following the reduction of US military presence in the country. As per Washington’s plan, Kabul and the Taliban were set to agree on a transitional government before the formation of a more permanent setup. Neither side has been willing to compromise, and now the Taliban has made territorial gains in the country’s north, on the Tajik border.

Zakharova also noted that there have been multiple occasions of Afghan government forces crossing over the border with Tajikistan to escape gunfire.

“We call on the opposing sides of the inter-Afghan conflict to show restraint and avoid the spread of tensions beyond the country's borders,” she said.

Earlier on Friday, a top Russian CSTO official told RT that Tajikistan and its allies would repel any possible Taliban incursion from neighboring Afghanistan, with Moscow ready to help.

Also on rt.com Taliban declare ‘full control’ of Afghan’s key border crossing with Iran

“We’ve seen the Taliban's outposts. At least for now, we see no aggression coming from [them],” General Colonel Anatoly Sidorov said. “They are not hiding at all. It appears the situation is fairly peaceful on the [Afghan] side.”

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