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We’ve been in Afghanistan, we didn’t like it – Russia’s NATO envoy

We've been in Afghanistan, we didn't like it - Russia's NATO envoy

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October 27, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — Russia’s envoy to NATO on Wednesday dismissed reports that Russian troops could be sent back to Afghanistan two decades after the Soviet Union’s Red Army was forced out by U.S.-backed mujahedeen.

“We’ve already been in Afghanistan and we didn’t like it much,” Dmitry Rogozin told RIA Novosti.

The UK newspaper The Guardian said on Tuesday the proposal was on the table ahead of a landmark Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon next month.

The paper said Moscow and Brussels were discussing joint initiatives including “the contribution of Russian helicopters and crews to train Afghan pilots, possible Russian assistance in training Afghan national security forces, increased co-operation on counter-narcotics and border security, and improved transit and supply routes for NATO forces.”

“Maybe someone wants Russia to supply cannon fodder to Afghanistan,” Rogozin went on.

The Soviet Union was involved in a bitter decade-long conflict in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989. A million Afghan civilians and fighters are estimated to have lost their lives during the fighting. Some 15,000 Soviet soldiers also perished, and the return of Russian soldiers to the country would also be extremely unpopular in Russia.

The war had a profound impact on the Soviet Union, and has been cited as one of the key factors in the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Rogozin also said that Russia-NATO cooperation in Afghanistan consisted of training for Afghan and Pakistan police involved in the fight against drugs, transit and “the implementation of the so-called helicopter package.”

Russia is competing for a U.S. tender to supply Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan.

Russian crews will train Afghan pilots, but not in Afghanistan, Rogozin said. He also said that the issue of improved transit arrangements “has never been raised.”

BRUSSELS, October 27 (RIA Novosti)

Russia-NATO summit to contribute to European security – Rogozin

Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's envoy to the military alliance

October 19, 2010 (KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI) — A forthcoming Russia-NATO summit in Lisbon will help Russia find common ground with its European neighbors on the issue of European security, a Russian envoy to NATO said on Tuesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said earlier on Tuesday that he would attend the Russia-NATO summit on November 20, part of NATO Lisbon summit on November 19-20.

“Emphasis will be placed on the Russian ideas, on Russia’s proposals and on our vision of the future of Europe,” Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television news channel.

President Medvedev proposed drawing up a new European security pact in June 2008, and Russia published a draft of the treaty in December 2009, sending copies to heads of state and international organizations, including NATO. However, the proposal has been met coolly by Western powers.

“This is a chance for us and a chance for the West to try to find common interests at a political level and try not just to hold talks, but also to do something together to deter threats,” Rogozin said.

Rogozin earlier said he hoped the Russian-NATO Council summit in Lisbon would help clarify preparations for the European missile defense plan.

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has repeatedly said that NATO wants Russia to be part of a missile defense plan for Europe, but Russia says a serious assessment of missile risks should be carried out before starting on the project.

MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti)

Russia to deliver 21 transport helicopters to Afghanistan

https://i0.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/03IU8zv6bCbjN/610x.jpg

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, right, and Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin  (Getty)

July 12, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  Russia will supply Afghanistan with 21 Mi-17 Hip military transport helicopters, an Afghan television channel reported on Monday.

According to Tolo television, the contract is worth $300 million and was concluded with the approval of the с command in Afghanistan.

Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told RIA Novosti on Monday that NATO had yet to agree on the exact delivery date of some time in July, although the alliance has voiced the need for Russian transport helicopters a long time ago.

The Mi-17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship.

The Afghan Air Force currently has 25 Mi-17 helicopters, which are widely used for troop and cargo transport, rescue and evacuation missions in the fight against Taliban militants.

Afghanistan plans to increase the number of Mi-17 helicopters to 56 by 2012. The majority of Afghan helicopters pilots were trained in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Andrei Avetisyan told reporters on Monday that Moscow was ready to supply Russian-made weaponry to the war-ravaged Central Asian state.

“We have repeatedly stated our readiness to deliver military equipment to Afghanistan,” the diplomat said.

In December 2002, Russia’s Defense Ministry signed a contract with Afghanistan to provide military-technical assistance to Kabul with deliveries of motor vehicles, fuel and lubricants, communication equipment, topographic maps, truck-mounted repair workshops and automobile and armor equipment spare parts.

Mi-17 helicopters
Mi-17 helicopters

However, deliveries of Russian weaponry to Afghanistan were suspended in 2005 allegedly in order to avoid “the duplication” of U.S. aid to the country, which that year totaled over $929 million, more than 80% of which was earmarked for the military and police.

Avetisyan said the Western supplies of copycat versions of Russian weaponry to Afghanistan negatively affected the combat capabilities of the Afghan armed forces.

“We are mainly talking about the Kalashnikov assault rifles, which are manufactured under expired licenses in several East European countries,” the ambassador said.

Russia will supply Afghanistan with 21 Mi-17 Hip military transport helicopters, an Afghan television channel reported on Monday.

According to Tolo television, the contract is worth $300 million and was concluded with the approval of the с command in Afghanistan.

Russian envoy to NATO Dmitry Rogozin told RIA Novosti on Monday that NATO had yet to agree on the exact delivery date of some time in July, although the alliance has voiced the need for Russian transport helicopters a long time ago.

The Mi-17 is a medium twin-turbine transport helicopter that can also act as a gunship.

The Afghan Air Force currently has 25 Mi-17 helicopters, which are widely used for troop and cargo transport, rescue and evacuation missions in the fight against Taliban militants.

Afghanistan plans to increase the number of Mi-17 helicopters to 56 by 2012. The majority of Afghan helicopters pilots were trained in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

Meanwhile, Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Andrei Avetisyan told reporters on Monday that Moscow was ready to supply Russian-made weaponry to the war-ravaged Central Asian state.

“We have repeatedly stated our readiness to deliver military equipment to Afghanistan,” the diplomat said.

In December 2002, Russia’s Defense Ministry signed a contract with Afghanistan to provide military-technical assistance to Kabul with deliveries of motor vehicles, fuel and lubricants, communication equipment, topographic maps, truck-mounted repair workshops and automobile and armor equipment spare parts.

However, deliveries of Russian weaponry to Afghanistan were suspended in 2005 allegedly in order to avoid “the duplication” of U.S. aid to the country, which that year totaled over $929 million, more than 80% of which was earmarked for the military and police.

Avetisyan said the Western supplies of copycat versions of Russian weaponry to Afghanistan negatively affected the combat capabilities of the Afghan armed forces.

“We are mainly talking about the Kalashnikov assault rifles, which are manufactured under expired licenses in several East European countries,” the ambassador said.  (*)