The prospect of cooperation between Russia and the US on Afghanistan

  • Date of Publication : 19/12/2017 at 14:32 GMT

Russia is ready to work together with the United States in solving Afghanistan’s problems, including the problem of narcotics and terrorism in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in response to a questioned raised by Asia news reporter at his annual news conference in Moscow.

Expressing concern over the strengthening of terrorist groupings in northern Afghanistan, Putin stressed that Russia and the US would be able to make their efforts more effective in countering terrorism if they could work together and join their efforts in Afghanistan.
“We see the growing threat in Afghanistan from international terrorists. We see that radical international formations are occupying more and more areas in northern Afghanistan at the border of the former republics of the Soviet Union,” the head of the Russian state said.
This comes as Russia recently celebrated its victory in the fight against ISIL in the Syrian war and virtually announced that they had eliminated ISIL elements in the country.

Following the announcement, Putin traveled to Syria and congratulated Russian troops on their victory against ISIL extremist group.

The victory of the Syrian war against ISIL undoubtedly can reveal the role of Russia in recent developments taken place in the region.
Russia launched its military mission in support of Bashar al-Assad’s regime at a time when Western countries, in particular the United States, was pushing Assad out of power.
The West had come to the conclusion that Bashar al-Assad is the main factor behind the rise of the Syrian crisis, and that his departure from power would lead to the creation of an epidemic government which would be acceptable to all parties. However, the sudden engagement of Russia into the Syrian war dramatically changed Asad’s dismissal equation.

Now, Western countries do not pursue that critical view against Assad anymore, and are also trying to gradually disengage themselves from the Syrian predicament.
Russia can now loudly and sarcastically shout on its Western rivals that fighting terrorism is not as difficult as they were portraying it was.
As Russia recently gained experience of the victory in Syria, it is now making efforts to gain victory in other fields as well.

Putin, based on the victory and experience gained in Syria, is now claiming that Russia can act more effectively in the Afghan conflict than the United States.
Iran, China and Russia recently in a summit on Afghanistan announced their readiness to end tensions in Afghanistan.

The war in Afghanistan is now waging. This has now become a matter of great concern for Russia and China. The Afghan conflict is even feared to be spreading to Central Asia.
Although Russia and China are of different concerns, but the two countries generally believe the escalation of regional tensions could harm their interests.
But the Afghan government is yet to clearly respond to Russia’ position on solving the Afghan crisis.

The country’s officials want the regional countries, including Russia and China to play an active role in settling the situation in Afghanistan, but they want this role to remain within the limits of diplomatic efforts and dialogues with the opposition engaging in peace talks.
Afghanistan is enjoying firm strategic and security relations with the United States, thus it is refusing to engage other regional countries which are considered as rivals to the US in the fight against insurgency in the country.

However, Afghan leaders must make use of the available opportunities, in particular the Russian experience gained in Syria in order to put and end to the conflict in the country.