Moscow Says NATO Destroyed All Cooperation Formats With Russia, Including on Afghanistan

Aug. 22, 2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – NATO has destroyed all possible formats of cooperation with Russia, including on Afghanistan, and will most likely only increase its anti-Russian rhetoric after the Afghan disaster, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko said Sunday.

“Yes, the alliance has destroyed all formats of cooperation, including on Afghanistan. The price for this geopolitical game, which has nothing to do with security interests, ultimately had to be paid by the Afghans,” Grushko said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper.

The end of NATO’s decade-long mission in Afghanistan may lead to further warmongering and revival of the “Russian threat” rhetoric since “searching for the evidence of its own relevance” has always been part of the bloc’s history, the diplomat noted. As examples of such behavior, Grushko named operations in former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan and Libya.

“In the light of the catastrophic consequences of these operations, the bloc was faced with another existential crisis, which is customary solved by returning to the origins. So, the concept of the ‘threat from the East’ saw the light of day again. Ukrainian coup and following events, which had no relation to the core interests of the alliance, were used as an ideological justification for returning to the original purpose of 1949. In this regard, the end of the Afghan story, the era of large-scale operations, may soon lead to the reemergence of the ‘Russian threat’ rhetoric,” the diplomat explained.

On August 15, the Taliban* entered Kabul, prompting the US-supported civilian government to collapse amid the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan. Ashraf Ghani resigned as president and fled the country to prevent what he described as bloodshed that would occur if militants stormed the city.

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