A Russian diplomat has said that the United States retains its presence in Afghanistan to exert influence on neighboring countries and regional rivals – namely, Russia, Iran and China.
In an interview with Sputnik, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department Director Zamir Kabulov accused US of destabilizing Central Asia and later transferring it to Russia.
“In our opinion, the United States is in Afghanistan primarily with the aim of controlling and influencing the political processes in its neighboring countries, and also demonstrating its power to its regional competitors, primarily China, Russia and Iran. The United States is clearly trying to achieve destabilization of Central Asia and later transfer it to Russia in order to subsequently present itself as the only defender against potential and emerging threats in the region,” Kabulov said.
According to the diplomat, Russia and other countries neighboring with Afghanistan have questions about the true goals and time frame of the US military presence in the Central Asian country.
“If the United States and its NATO allies intend to continue their destructive policy in Afghanistan, this will mean that the West is heading toward the revival of the Cold War era in this part of the world. We closely monitor the developments and are ready to respond in cooperation with our partners and other like-minded people,” Kabulov noted.
The diplomat pointed out that Washington still failed to understand that the Afghan conflict could not be resolved solely by military means, stressing that it was impossible to defeat the Taliban* by force.