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Russia must brace for post-coalition troop pullout from Afghanistan: Minister

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The military forces of Russia and Central Asia must be prepared for any negative situation in Afghanistan after international forces are withdrawn, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.

“We see military cooperation with the Republic of Kyrgyzstan as a priority, and our cooperation is an important factor in upholding stability in the Central Asian region,” Shoigu said during a meeting with Kyrgyz Defense Minister Abibill Kudaiberdiev.

The meeting took place in the framework of the Army-2015 international military and technical forum. “The armed forces of our countries must be ready for any scenario, including the negative one. To that end, it is necessary to boost the combat capabilities of the Russian military base and the Kyrgyz army,” Shoigu said.

He recalled that contracts have been signed to transfer modern Russian weapons and equipment to the Kyrgyz side, their deliveries are under way.

Shoigu added that Russia will continue to help Kyrgyzstan strengthen its national defense in order to be “prepared to any development in the situation [in Afghanistan], including negative developments.”

In March, US President Barack Obama said that all the remaining US military bases in the country will be closed by the end of 2016.

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