Russia not to have military bases in Afghanistan: official

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-4-6 10:19:24

Russia would not consider deploying military bases in Afghanistan, Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said on Friday.

Commenting on reports that the possibility of creating military maintenance bases in Afghanistan was discussed between Russia and NATO, Antonov said the establishment of any Russian military bases in the Afghan territory was "out of the question."

Russia has been willing to help the Afghan government improve its armed forces, Antonov said, adding stability in the Asian country is necessary to NATO members, Russia and its Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) partners.

The official also expressed Russia's willingness to assist both NATO- led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and "Afghan friends."

According to him, the cooperation potential between NATO and CSTO countries in addressing stability and security challenges in Asia was huge.

Afghanistan is due to take over the security duties from US and NATO forces by the end of 2014. The Afghan National Security Forces have already taken full control of areas, where about 75 percent of the population lives.

Under US President Barack Obama's withdrawal plan, 33,000 US troops already pulled out of Afghanistan in September last year and another 34,000 will return home within one year.

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