Moscow delivered 10,000 AK-47 rifles and millions of rounds of ammunitions, loaded in a cargo plane, to Afghanistan. The military aid to Kabul was a gesture of cooperation with Moscow to help the war-torn Afghanistan contain a resurgent insurgency.
The aid delivery to Kabul came after nearly three decades since the Soviet Union had to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, after occupying it for 10 years. The day on which the Soviet Union pulled out of Afghanistan, that is February 15, is commemorated as a national holiday throughout the country.
The Afghan forces, being completely dependent on foreign aids to fight the rising insurgency, had to turn to Russia for military aid after the NATO-led coalition’s military presence weakened last year. Afghanistan approached Moscow for more Russian-made weapons that included small arms, artillery and attack helicopters.
This donation represents a deep friendship between two nations,” the Yahoo News quoted Afghan national security adviser Hanif Atmar as saying, at an event marking delivery of the arms shipment. “This important donation is from an important friend of Afghanistan in a crucial time for Afghanistan and the region.”
He added that the guns and ammunitions were sent to Kabul as part of an existing agreement between the two countries.
The NBC News reported that according to Afghan National Security Council spokesman Tawab Ghurzang, the assault rifles, accompanied heavy weapons and helicopters as part of a military aid from Russia.
Since the withdrawal of the US and NATO, Afghanistan has been struggling to put out a growing Taliban insurgency, as well as the ISIS militants who occupied parts of the country. As Russian no longer shares the border with Afghanistan, fears of militancy and insurgency spreading to central Asian countries, to its southern flank, has been on the rise.
Russia’s ambassador, Alexander Mantytskiy, told a group of Afghan military and security officials that his country is willing to extend a helping hand to Afghanistan to deal with problems like terrorism and drug.