Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu at the 9th Moscow Conference on International Security said on Wednesday that the Western alliance has failed to stabilise the situation in Afghanistan.
“It must be admitted that over 20 years of stay in Afghanistan, a significant military contingent of the Western alliance has failed to achieve significant results in stabilising the situation in the country and forming sustainable public administration structures,” Shoigu said, according to Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency.
“There was high probability that after the withdrawal of NATO forces [from Afghanistan] a civil war would resume in the country with all negative consequences: further deterioration in the life of the population; mass migration; and the spread of extremism to neighboring countries,” he said.
In the meantime, the deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of foreign forces causes ever growing concerns, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Anna Yevstigneyeva said during the UN Security Council meeting on Afghanistan on Tuesday, TASS News agency reported.
“Today’s meeting takes place amid the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan, announced on April 14. The degrading situation causes ever-growing concerns,” she said.
“The balance of power today does not look promising. Violence is rampant across the country. Just like twenty years ago, the terrorist threat remains a serious challenge in Afghanistan,” she said, adding that the “situation with drug production and drug trafficking” also causes concerns.
“In this regard, we note with regret that the peace process has stalled. We see that attempts to organise an international meeting were unsuccessful,” the Russian envoy said.
According to Yevstigneyeva,” the success depends on the scrupulous work (of) all sides.”
Also, the UN envoy in Afghanistan Deborah Lyons in a briefing to the United Nations Security Council said the recent “intensive military campaign” by the Taliban will lead to continued violence in the country, and she reiterated that any attempt to install a government in Kabul by force will go against everyone’s interest.
She said the Taliban’s intensive military campaign “will lead to increased and prolonged violence that would extend the suffering of the Afghan people and threaten to destroy much of what has been built and hard-won in the last two decades.”
She said that the Taliban’s recent advances are even more significant and are the result of an intensified military campaign. More than 50 of Afghanistan’s 370 districts have fallen since the beginning of May, she said.
Most districts that have fallen are adjacent to provincial capitals, suggesting that the Taliban are positioning themselves to try and take these capitals once foreign forces are fully withdrawn, she noted.
“This military campaign runs directly counter to recent statements by the head of the Taliban Political Commission that, and I quote, ‘We are committed to forging ahead with the other sides in an atmosphere of mutual respect (to) reach an agreement,’” she said.
For the Taliban to continue this intensive military campaign would be a tragic course of action, Lyons said.