The situation in Afghanistan is degrading as US and NATO troops are withdrawn, a situation which will trigger an increase in terrorist activity there, Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Thursday.
"We see the preconditions for an intensification of international terrorism in other areas as well. The degradation of the situation in Afghanistan, which is progressing as the US and NATO military contingents are withdrawn, will contribute to an increase in the terrorist activity of ISIL (the former name of the Islamic State terror group outlawed in Russia - TASS) and al-Qaeda (outlawed in Russia) in that country," he said at the Moscow Conference on International Security.
"At the same, a powerful resource base for terrorists will be provided by the production of drugs, whose volume has seen over a 40-fold increase during the period of the Western contingent’s stay in that country," Patrushev said.
"We proceed from the assumption that the United States and NATO will adhere to their stated promises to provide financial assistance to the Afghan government, support local security forces, ensure the operation of Kabul’s international airport and address other high-priority issues," he said. "At the same time, we believe it is unacceptable to use the Afghan issue for solving geopolitical problems, including for building up non-regional players’ military presence in Central Asia".
According to Patrushev, Russia is in favor of launching a direct intra-Afghan dialogue with the assistance of international partners. "We are actively involved in that process, in particular, through the Moscow format of consultations on Afghanistan. Additionally, we will seek to use the capacity of cooperation mechanisms through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and other multilateral formats," Patrushev noted.