Indian envoy to Russia Venkatesh Verma has said that India and Russia have a “normalcy, common approach” when it comes to Afghanistan and both countries are “particularly concerned” with the country’s development with regard to terrorism, drug issue. affected”. smuggling and other issues.
The ambassador, speaking to RIA Novosti, explained, “The situation in Afghanistan is a matter of concern for the entire region… This situation poses a threat to the interests of both India and Russia due to the potential for growth of terrorist groups, narcotics. increase in smuggling, organized crime, an influx of refugees” and also that “very large quantities of very advanced weapons are now in the hands of a large number of armed groups.”
The remarks came ahead of a meeting between Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Petrushev and Indian NSA Ajit Doval to discuss Afghanistan in Delhi on Wednesday.
The meeting is part of the Permanent Consultative Mechanism to discuss Afghanistan set up after the talks between Indian PM Modi and Russian President Putin on August 24.
On the talks, the envoy said, “We expect India-Russia discussions to be very intense and action-oriented. India and Russia have a lot of common interests in addressing the Afghan situation, including in the area of counter-terrorism.” This is the first visit to a foreign country since the Taliban emerged as the dominant force in Afghanistan.
He highlighted the “very fast growing developments in Afghanistan” including a protest rally in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which saw anti-Pakistan slogans on Tuesday and was covered by the Afghan and international press. The rally came days after the ISI chief was spotted in the Kabul hotel lobby, raising concerns over Islamabad’s continued interference in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs.
On the Doha talks and the Troika Plus meetings, the envoy said they “have not produced the right results”, and that the two countries are “discussing the evolving situation” when it comes to Afghanistan and the issue of Taliban recognition.
Last year’s Doha talks, under which the US and Taliban signed a deal in February that began the process of US withdrawal and subsequent talks between the Taliban and representatives of the former Ghani-led Afghan Republic, failed. The troika format was the US, China and Russia plus Pakistan discussing Afghanistan.
Envoy Verma said, “The Doha Agreement of February 2020, the Troika Plus negotiations – ultimately the results of these international efforts were not matched by subsequent developments”, adding that, “it is better that India and Russia work together with respect”. Work. For Afghanistan. This is the most important lesson for us.”
Interestingly, during his interview, the ambassador referred to “India’s interest in the stability of Central Asian states” in the backdrop of the Afghan crisis. The 3 Central Asian states, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan share a border with Afghanistan, and the fear is that the crisis could impact them as well. New Delhi and Moscow both share close ties with these Central Asian countries, with Russia being a major security and economic partner due to the Soviet relationship.