Russia says it will protect Tajikistan in the event of an invasion of Afghanistan

An aerial photo shows a military parade of Tajik army near the border with Afghanistan in the city of Khorog (Khorugh), Tajikistan September 30, 2021. Press service for the President of Tajikistan / Distribution via REUTERS

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MOSCOW, October 8 (Reuters) – Russia is ready to protect its ally Tajikistan in the event of invasion of neighboring Afghanistan, a senior diplomat was quoted as saying on Friday, amid Russian media reports of a militant Tajik group preparing a cross-border attack.

Tajiks are the second largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and make up a majority of the population in some northern areas close to the border with Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic.

According to Russian media, the predominantly ethnic Pashtun Taliban has entered into an alliance with a particular Tajik militant group, which is possibly planning an intervention in Tajikistan.

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“All necessary assistance will be provided to Tajikistan, if required, both within the framework of the (Moscow-led) Collective Security Treaty Organization and bilaterally,” Interfax News Agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko as saying.

“There are, in fact, reports that the Taliban cannot control the situation (in northern Afghanistan) … Yet we hope they will keep the promises they have made (not to attack neighbors),” Rudenko added without elaborating. that.

Reuters has not been able to confirm the Russian media reports on the Tajik militant group.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon has previously accused the Taliban of human rights violations during their siege of Panjshir province, where Afghan opposition forces have held demonstrations.

The Taliban, which took power in August amid the chaotic departure of US-led foreign forces from Afghanistan, has warned Dushanbe against interfering in their country’s affairs.

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Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov Editing by Gareth Jones

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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