Lavrov disapproves of US military presence in Central Asia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the presence of US military forces in Central Asia “would not meet the region’s security interests”.

“If Americans with more than 100,000 troops have not been able to achieve anything inside Afghanistan over the past 20 years, what results are they going to achieve with a significantly smaller presence outside Afghanistan within Central Asia,” Lavrov said at a press conference here on Monday.

He said the US intends to maintain a military presence in the region in order to exert influence, reports Xinhua news agency.

US media reports have claimed Washington is in talks with Central Asian governments about basing troops in the region.

Lavrov stressed that the presence of foreign military bases on the territories of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member countries must be subject to approval by all participants.

The CSTO, a Moscow-led military alliance formed in 1992, consists of six former Soviet republics of Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.

“It is significant to note that none of these countries have submitted requests to the CSTO to hold consultations on this matter,” he added.

Lavrov said the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan was “too hasty” as a huge amount of equipment was abandoned.