Russia is ready to maintain counterterrorism contacts with the United States, including in the context of Afghanistan, Sputnik reports with reference to the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department for New Challenges and Threats chief Vladimir Tarabrin.
According to Tarabrin, from 2018-2019, Moscow and Washington maintained a full-fledged cross-agency dialogue on the entire spectrum of counterterrorism issues, though this cooperation was suspended at the US initiative.
“As for counterterrorism contacts with the Americans, including in the context of the Afghan affairs, we are ready for such interaction, but we cannot be more interested in it than our partners are,” Tarabrin said.
Nevertheless, Moscow continues cooperation with the US Department of States’ Bureau of Counterterrorism where this meets Russia’s practical interests, as Tarabrin noted. He also claimed that US forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan shows that Washington’s initiatives to combat drugs in fact failed.
“It is noteworthy that peak indicators in the Afghan drug industry coincided with the presence of the Americans and their NATO allies on the territory of the country,” Tarabrin said.
Tarabrin specified that according to different estimates, the volume of illegal opiate production surged from 17 to 40 times compared to 2001 when the US troops entered Afghanistan.