Is Russia Back in Afghanistan?

Policy brief

Brattvoll, Joakim (2016) Is Russia Back in Afghanistan?, PRIO Policy Brief, 4. Oslo: PRIO.

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On October 1st 2015, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani requested military equipment from Russia for the Afghan army, just a few days after citizens from the former Soviet Republics Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Chechnya lined up with the Taliban in seizing parts of the Afghan city Kunduz. The current Vice President of Afghanistan – General Dostum – reiterated this request during his visits to Moscow and Chechnya’s capital Grozny on October 5 2015, stressing that Russia and Afghanistan need to unite forces against international terrorism. These recent events reflect the mutual wish to strengthen relations between Moscow and Kabul. The simultaneous crises in both the Russia-US and the Afghan-US relationships are seemingly the drivers of the current rapprochement. As Western presence diminishes, can we expect a more proactive Russia in Afghanistan?

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