UNITED NATIONS, (Sputnik) – Afghanistan risks slipping into a full-scale protracted civil war amid the absence of progress on peace negotiations, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said in a Security Council meeting on Friday.
“It is clear that there is no military solution to the Afghan situation, but, in the current situation, given the absence of progress on the negotiation track, the prospect of Afghanistan slipping into full scale and protracted civil war, unfortunately, is a stark reality. Therefore, the most important goal today is to swiftly launch substantive negotiations”, Nebenzia said.
The Russian envoy voiced hope that the upcoming talks on Afghanistan in Doha as well as the extended Troika plus Pakistan format will give an additional impetus to the political settlement process
“We are convinced that now it is more important than ever to consolidate all international and regional efforts and every measure should be taken to find a sensible solution taking into account the interests of all ethnic and religious minorities”, he said.
Threat to Central Asian Countries
At the same time, the Russian diplomat stressed that Moscow is worried about escalating violence in Afghanistan which may spiral out of control. The situation also prompted concern from Kabul’s neighbours in Central Asia.
“The risk of fighters infiltrating the region under the guise of being refugees cannot fail to cause concern among our Central Asian neighbors. We are in regular contact with all five Central Asian nations”, the Russian diplomat said.
Violence has continued unabated in Afghanistan for several weeks, with the Taliban* launching an offensive on entire cities. Reports say the militant group now controls more territory than they did in 2001, when it was toppled during the US-led invasion.
*Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries