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Russia Regains Influence in Afghanistan – US Political Scientist

02.08.2017 14:05

The Moscow is ramping up political, economic and information activities to improve their image and reestablish their influence in Afghanistan, American political expert Arturo Munoz writes in his article in Newsweek.

According to him, Russia has expanded its embassy staff and signed a security agreement with Afghanistan in 2016, reportedly shipping in 10,000 Kalashnikov rifles and millions of rounds of ammunition. In the economic sphere, President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, promised to support Afghanistan's housing sector during his February meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Besides, the Russian Embassy spent $20 million to rebuild the abandoned Soviet Friendship Center as the new Russian Cultural Center. And that’s just one of 150 projects Moscow has undertaken at a cost of tens of millions of dollars in its effort to restore Russia’s lost economic and cultural clout in Afghanistan.

"At present, Russia is enjoying a remarkable comeback in the land that once fought so violently to expel it. According to an experienced Afghan businessman, the growing Russian engagement in Kabul business ventures and other activities produces negative comparisons with Americans", Munoz stressed.

In his opinion, the Russian policy in Afghanistan is very effective, especially against the backdrop of Washington's failures in this country. The U.S.-backed Afghan government appears incapable of establishing security across the country.

"Russia returned to Afghanistan seriously and, it seems, for a long time", the political scientist resumed.