16 June, 2021

Why Russia Is Fretting

Russia arms its frontiers, Iran rubbishes Taliban's 'Islamic' credo

Why Russia Is Fretting

THE "barbarians" are practically on Russia's doorstep. Moscow and Central Asian CIS members, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrghizstan, are trying to devise a common policy to stave off military and religious threats of the Taliban offensive. "We should be on alert and prepared for anything unexpected. But we have enough forces to defend ourselves," says Uzbek president Islam Karimov.

Central Asian leaders are worried about the impetus Taliban victories could give to radical Islam trends in their countries. Retreating Northern field commanders may also try to relocate their forces to Uzbekistan to create a new fighting base, which would be difficult for CIS to control. Russia, of course, will bear the brunt of it—17,000 Russian border troops guard the Tajik-Afghan border under the CIS' collective security agreement. Uzbekistan and Tajikistan also host 4,000 troops of the Russian 201st motorised division.

 The Taliban has also sent shock waves through Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah...

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