Russia after take-over in Afghanistan: has Moscow enough leverage over the Taliban?

Soldiers during the military training RUBEZH-21. Picture: ODBK-CSTO.
Soldiers during the military training RUBEZH-21. Picture: ODBK-CSTO.

Continuity has always characterized the Kremlin’s Afghanistan-policy. But will Moscow benefit of the exit of the West? Hard to say. According to the University of Amsterdam scholars Helena Arntz and Michael Kemper, even Russia has not much leverage on the Taliban. 

This year the five Central Asian states, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, celebrate 30 years of independence from the Soviet Union. The festivities will not go without keeping a watchful eye on their southern borders. With the exit of the West from Afghanistan, Russia and the five ‘-stans’ are facing a new reality that is still difficult to evaluate. How did these states react to the new situation so far, and what are their fears and expectations?

Tajikistan in particular is vulnerable to a Taliban threat and is concerned about the fate of the large Tajik population of Afghanistan. Does this vulnerability offer new opportunities for Russia, as the traditional security partner of the region?


By Helena Arntz and Michael Kemper.

Read the full article here.

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RAAM aims to deepen knowledge in the Netherlands about political, social and cultural developments in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, as they are of essential (geo)political significance for the European democratic legal order.