Russia warns NATO against prolonged stay in Afghanistan
Posted by seumasach on October 11, 2012
11th October, 2012
Russia has warned that it will stop cooperating with NATO in Afghanistan after 2014 unless the Western military alliance gets UN Security Council authorization for a new mission in the war-torn country.
Nikolay Korchunov, Russia’s acting ambassador to NATO, said on Wednesday that the alliance must receive an international mandate, which means a new UN Security Council resolution, for a longer stay in Afghanistan.
“Let’s proceed from the assumption that any such mission should be based on an international mandate,” Korchunov said.
“It is a pre-condition both for carrying on the operation and for our cooperation with NATO on that issue post-2014.”
However, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said earlier on Wednesday that the military alliance is in “no rush” for the withdrawal of US-led foreign soldiers from Afghanistan.
Russia will be a strategic transit route for NATO as it withdraws billions of dollars of equipment from Afghanistan in the next few years.
On September 22, Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said Moscow wants to know the purpose of foreign military bases in Afghanistan after the US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pulls out of the country in 2014.
The US and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains across the country.