Shoigu: Russia to strengthen its military bases in Central Asia

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June 7, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

Izvestia – By Inessa Sinchougova

Defense Minister, General of the Army, Sergei Shoigu, speaking at a meeting of Defense Ministers – members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Kazakhstan, spoke of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and expressed the view that the international coalition in the country has not brought any tranquility.

He noted that the Islamic State operates in Afghanistan – a state which has observer status in the SCO.

“Of particular concern is the strengthening of Afghan militants positions, the number of which reaches around 3.5 thousand. Establishing an Islamic caliphate threatens the security of all; Afghanistan and neighboring countries.”

In this regard, Shoigu said Russia will strengthen its military bases in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan with the latest weapons, as well as assisting the armed forces of Central Asian states in their defense measures.

“The Russian Defense Ministry is taking concrete measures to combat the transfer of terrorist activities from Afghanistan to the Central Asian region”, – said Russian Defense Minister.

According to the UN mission in Afghanistan, civilian casualties last year broke the ten-year record: 11,418 people were killed or wounded. Battle casualties were also high; last year alone, around 7,000 Afghan military and police were killed.  

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