Russia has sent military equipment to the Tajik-Afghan border and is preparing to help its ally Tajikistan to build an outpost in the area. Tajikistan requested assistance from its allies earlier this month after over 1,000 Afghan soldiers retreating from fighting with the Taliban crossed the border.
“An intergovernmental agreement is now being prepared for signing on the provision of aid to Tajikistan for the construction of a border outpost,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko told the RIA news agency.
Tajikistan has put its entire armed forces on high alert over the violence in Afghanistan and activated 20,000 reservists who were deployed to reinforce the Afghan border. Tajik President Emomali Rahmon spoke to the country’s National Guard on Thursday and said the situation in Afghanistan is “extremely difficult and uncertain.”
“In the view of the current sensitive situation that dominate the region and the world, the security of our people and the Tajik government, peaceful political environment for our people and the government, is among our topmost priority,” Rahmon said.
On Tuesday, Russia deployed tanks near the Tajik-Afghan border ahead of military drills in neighboring Uzbekistan that will be held next month. Russia has been critical of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and is concerned groups like ISIS could gain a foothold in the country. The Taliban has tried to ease Moscow’s concerns and said it would not allow Afghanistan to be used as a platform to launch attacks against Russia.