He assured that Russia will take measures to prevent possible aggression against Tajikistan, if need be, and that Moscow will continue supporting Tajikistan in boosting its defensive capacity.
“If necessary, the Russian Federation will take all measures to prevent aggression or territorial provocations in line with the spirit of the Russian-Tajik strategic partnership and alliance”, Rudenko noted.
The two countries maintain intensive contacts, both bilaterally between their respective defence ministries and via the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, the diplomat added. The units of Russia’s 201st military base stationed in Tajikistan conduct both routine and snap drills there.
© AP PHOTO / BORDER TROOPS OF THE STATE COMMITTEE FOR NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF TAJIKISTANIn this handout photo released by Border Troops of the State Committee for National Security of the Republic of Tajikistan on Tuesday, June 22, 2021, Afghanistan’s government soldiers sit at a bridge next to Tajikistan-Afghanistan border in Tajikistan.
“Of course, we are concerned about the exacerbation of the intra-Afghan conflict and its negative impact on the neighbouring states in Central Asia, therefore, we are in constant contact with our Uzbek colleagues. Uzbekistan is our ally and strategic partner, which has a common border with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. We are ready to provide additional help to our friends if such a need arises and if there is an appropriate appeal from the Uzbek leadership”, the Russian deputy foreign minister said.
Separately, Rudenko stressed that Russia maintains constant contact with Uzbekistan amid the developments in Afghanistan and is ready to provide assistance to Tashkent if there is a relevant request.
A source in Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security has, meanwhile, told Sputnik that “the information that the Taliban controls the entire perimeter of the border with Tajikistan does not correspond to reality”.
According to the source, the Taliban “controls no more than 80%” of the border.
The pullout was one of the points of agreement that the Taliban and the US reached in Doha in February 2020.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, for his part, argued on Wednesday that about half of the district centres in Afghanistan are now under the control of Taliban militants.