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Taliban leaders in Afghanistan have promised not to attack neighboring countries, Shoigu said

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Image source: © РИА Новости, Екатерина Чеснокова

Moscow. August 11. INTERFAX-The leaders of the Taliban movement (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) have promised not to launch attacks on neighboring states, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

"Its leaders say that we will not make any destructive attempts to stop the border, to attack neighboring territories, "Shoigu said on Tuesday at a meeting with participants of the All-Russian youth educational forum"Territory of Meanings".

He said that the Taliban recently took over the Afghan Kunduz, controls the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

"If you are aware of those areas, Kunduz is a fairly large and serious such center. For us, what is important is that the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, it is also taken under control by the Taliban, " Shoigu said.

The Russian Defense Minister said that against the background of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the Taliban began to squeeze out government forces everywhere.

"Of course, a holy place is never empty, a gradual squeezing of government forces from all territories has begun," Shoigu said. According to him, now the United States and its allies, including European and Australian colleagues, are withdrawing troops from Afghanistan - "in general, there is virtually no one left there."

The Minister called the recent military exercises of Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan near the Afghan border successful.

"The exercises were held at the highest level, and we will continue to conduct such exercises in order to, as they used to say in literary language, "keep the powder dry," Shoigu said.

"We decided to hold two exercises together with our colleagues, one Russian-Uzbek, we held it, the second is a triple exercise - Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia. It was held at the highest level, we checked how ready we are. We have checked how ready we are for these conditions. We looked at how and what can be used in these conditions. Of course, we looked at the weak points, " he said.

Shoigu said that Russia is helping to modernize the armies of the Central Asian countries, they should be able to respond to threats.

"It is extremely important for us that our colleagues, our allies, our CSTO partners are ready for this. Naturally, we are doing everything for this," the minister said.

"Probably, the majority of officers - from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan - are trained in our higher educational institutions. We are also engaged in the modernization of the army of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. We have a 201st base in Tajikistan, and a base in Kyrgyzstan, too. Here, of course, it is extremely important for us that the armed forces of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are ready to repel possible threats," Shoigu said.

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