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Russia has no peace plan for Afghanistan: Kabulov

“Without improved economy, administration and army, Afghanistan will not have a future at all. Afghanistan will disappear, will fall apart,” says Putin’s special envoy to Afghanistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Russia’s special envoy to Afghanistan said that Moscow has no peace plan for the war-hit country.

In an exclusive interview with the Anadolu Agency, a Turkey-based news agency, Zamir Kabulov said that Moscow does not make plans for other nations like Americans.  “We do not have bad habits.”

Kabulov said that his country is not planning to organize conferences on Afghan peace process because Russia was not asked. “What kind of a conference? We, as the international community, every year have a conference on Afghanistan. We are skilled at doing excellent conferences, the latest two were in Amritsar, in Brussels. We are skilled at holding conferences, but we failed in making actual results. No conference can bring peace in Afghanistan,” he said.

Responding to a question, the Russian envoy said that peace should be between the Afghan government and the Taliban. He furthered that for that purpose, Moscow should be asked according to international law and principles of foreign policy of the Russian Federation. He said the Taliban and Afghan government should ask Russia: “Please arrange such a conference, we want to make peace under your auspices.”

Kabulov said that his country could not organize conference on Afghan conflict and peace unless approached by the warring parties in Afghanistan. “We haven’t gotten such a request yet.”

When asked whether he sees Afghanistan as a peaceful country or at war in the next two decades, the Russian envoy said that without certain conditions there would be no peace in the country. “If there is no change in international efforts in Afghanistan, that will help it to improve in three things: the economy, administration, and army, Afghanistan will not have a future at all,” he said.

Kabulov went on saying that Afghanistan would disappear and fall apart in the next 20 years without these conditions. “But we hope we can do it. We don’t want this scenario because from all accounts, it is against the interests of my country and the entire region. It will be very damaging and dangerous. That’s why we hope, if these three conditions are met in 20 years in Afghanistan, there will be peace,” he said.

When asked whether he foresees “a war of all” if there was no peace in Afghanistan, he said: “In stages, it will be a war against all but there will be parts of the country declaring themselves independent states and they will be very much dependent. Because no resources will be independent of neighborhood, immediate or far away, it will be bizarre, but after that, believe me, in another decade, they will come together again.”

Expressing concerns over presence of the US forces in Afghanistan, Kabulov said that Washington has spent around $1 trillion in the past 15 years in the war-hit country but it did not help.

“At the end of its failure, why does the United States want land bases in Afghanistan? We don’t have a clear-cut answer. Barack Obama, on one hand, cuts the troops in Afghanistan, on the other hand, he forces Afghans. At first, they tried to do this with [then-President] Hamid Karzai and later they made the new administration sign the Bilateral Security Agreement which presume nine American bases [on Afghan land]. In Turkey, they have only one base, in Afghanistan, they have the right to use nine big military bases plus almost 10 more. Why?” he asked.

When asked whether the US bases in Afghanistan was disturbing Russia, he said: “Of course; why should it not be disturbing for anybody? Why in Afghanistan? Where is Afghanistan and where is America!? If we did something like that in Mexico, would it not be disturbing for America? In Cuba, we have already experienced and we know the outcome. I think it is old fashioned. Why are they doing that after all this 15-year-old anti-terror rhetoric in Afghanistan? They stupidly try to say that ‘it is for training.’ Come on! You are not talking to stupid or foolish people. We know the reasons [for the ongoing U.S. military presence in Afghanistan]. Russia will never tolerate this.”

He said that US invasion of Afghanistan has multi purposes. The envoy said that when the US lost its military base in Iran after the revolution in 1979, the Americans were unable to control “vast areas of that part” of Asia.

“So, Afghanistan was for that, because it was an available option and a nearby country to Russia, Central Asia, China, Iran, and Pakistan. Americans are really worried about the nuclear capacity of Pakistan. All the sentiments of the first Islamic bomb is another thing; it is rhetoric but it is still a factor,” he said.

Kabulov said the 2001 invasion had also political and economic sides. Afghanistan is relatively at the center of the three biggest hydrocarbon reserves in the world: the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, and Central Asia. Afghanistan has easy access to all three.

He said that Russia warned Afghans from the very beginning that the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US might have implications for Kabul-Moscow relations if Americans use this infrastructure against Russia’s interest.  He said the Afghan government assured Russia that the US would not use the bases against any country.

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