From Rossiiskaya gazeta, May 30, 2022, p. 4. Condensed text:

The years-long history of the American presence in Afghanistan can be boiled down to endless bloodshed. It also destroyed the country’s statehood and the distinctive character of the peoples inhabiting it. The US used Afghanistan to perfect the methods it still uses around the world, including in Ukraine.

That is what Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev told his counterparts from India, Iran, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan during the fourth Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan in Dushanbe. Patrushev was referring to [the US] pandering to radicals, extremists and terrorists, as well as using local armed groups to mercilessly suppress dissenters.

“It is no accident that there are increasingly loud calls in the West to turn Ukraine into a so-called European Afghanistan in order to inflict maximum harm on Russia. Of course, our country will not allow such a scenario to be implemented,” Patrushev said.

According to him, even after their shameful flight from Afghanistan [see Vol. 73, No. 33‑34, pp. 3‑7], the US, Great Britain and their allies continue to have a destructive influence on the situation in the country. They have unlawfully frozen Afghan assets instead of putting them toward humanitarian needs under UN oversight. Washington’s decision to reserve half of those assets to pay out damages in lawsuits filed by relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks, to which the Afghan people have no connection at all, comes off as shameless, said the Russian Security Council secretary.

In general, Patrushev says, the US and its vassals are double-dealing in Afghanistan. If their bet on the anti-Taliban forces does not play out, Washington and London may attempt to transform the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) into a tool of its policy in Central and South Asia.

[Patrushev] also did not rule out that the Westerners might return to their idea of creating a new independent Pamiri state in northeastern Afghanistan and adjacent territories. They would thereby create additional conditions for exporting instability from Afghanistan.

Patrushev thinks that after everything the West has done on Afghan soil, it simply has no right to continue playing its geopolitical games there. At the same time, since they inflicted the most harm on Afghanistan, the US and its allies should bear the cost of rebuilding it.

“We act on the assumption that the UN must be the main coordinator in resolving the entire host of problems relating to the postconflict restoration of Afghanistan,” the Security Council secretary concluded.

Over the course of the two days of meetings and consultations in Dushanbe, in addition to Afghan issues, Nikolai Patrushev had face-to-face discussions with his counterparts on security issues and Western sanctions, and spoke about Russia’s special military operation [in Ukraine; see Vol. 74, No. 8, pp. 9‑13 – Trans.]. This RG staff writer was the only Russian journalist who was able to attend the open portion of the bilateral meetings.

“Nikolai Platonovich [Patrushev], I flew here specifically to meet with you,” Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, said immediately upon entering the meeting hall. In response, Patrushev, who was also visibly pleased to have another meeting with Shamkhani, pointed out that Iran and Russia are both countries that have faced unprecedented sanctions from the US and the Western world and are capable of adequately standing up to them. After that, he spoke about the causes and progress of the special military operation, and the threats emanating from the Kiev regime, which is directly supported by NATO.

“We were forced to launch the special operation,” the Russian Security Council secretary said.

In turn, Shamkhani said that some countries are using the Ukrainian crisis for their own ends and want to divert Russia’s attention from other regions, particularly Central Asia, the Caucasus and Syria. In addition, according to Ali Shamkhani, sanctions against Russia will not be lifted even after the operation concludes, which is why it is necessary to unite and resist US pressure together. . . .