Russia has been in hot seat for the longest time especially since its participation in the Syrian conflict. This time, Moscow is making headlines once more after it sent thousands of automatic rifles and ammunition to Afghanistan. Will Russia be in the middle of a new war or is it simply an act of foreign aid?
Afghanistan has been struggling to maintain security in the country against rising insurgency and the country has now turned reliant on foreign aid. Russia answered to the country’s need by reportedly sending 10,000 automatic rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition. However, many also consider this as a sign of Russia’s continued and possibly deepening involvement in the country’s conflict. According to ABC, when NATO-led coalition’s military presence waned in the previous year, Afghan’s officials turned to Moscow for more weapons.
“This donation represents a deep friendship between two nations,” explained Afghan national security adviser Hanif Atmar during the event when the weapons were delivered. “This important donation is from an important friend of Afghanistan in a crucial time for Afghanistan and the region,” he added.
The adviser also claimed that the weapons gifts were given under the terms of the present security agreement between the Russia and Afghanistan. In another report from the Jerusalem Post, Russia is reportedly encouraging the Taliban to initiate a discussion with Afghanistan’s central government.
“We are urging the Taliban to do this and we hope that they (talks) will start as soon as possible to prevent the beginning of a new ‘combat season’,” Russian president’s special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said.
The statement comes after claims from Afghan government’s chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, revealed that the country may soon initiate peace talks with the Taliban. The discussion should happen within six months in hopes of bridging differences and stopping violence across the region.