Russia will undertake additional measures if necessary to prevent aggression or provocations on the Tajik-Afghan border, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Friday.
The diplomat noted a sharp increase in tensions on the Afghan-Tajik border which "can only cause concern." "The Taliban (outlawed in Russia) within a short timeframe occupied a majority of border provinces and is currently controlling about two-thirds of the country’s border with Tajikistan," she pointed out, TASS reports.
"Our undivided attention has been focused on the situation on the border. The 201st Russian base in Tajikistan is equipped with everything necessary to provide assistance to the republic in controlling the border situation. If necessary, the most decisive additional measures will be undertaken in the spirit of the Russian-Tajik alliance in order to prevent aggression or territorial provocations. We urge the conflicting parties to the internal Afghan conflict to exercise restraint and avoid spreading the tension beyond the country’s borders," she said.
According to the spokeswoman, Moscow and Dushanbe maintain intensive working contacts along the lines of defense agencies, border patrol services and diplomatic channels.
On July 5, the press service of Tajikistan’s Border Guards of the State Committee for National Security reported that 1,037 Afghan servicemen who were forced to retreat following armed clashes with the Taliban had crossed the Tajik border into the Central Asian country. There have been several such incidents over the past two weeks. The press service noted that the Afghan servicemen were permitted to enter Tajik territory proceeding from the principle of good neighborliness and non-interference.
On February 14, 2003, the Russian Supreme Court declared the Taliban a terrorist organization. The extremist organization’s activities are outlawed in Russia.