Russia: National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval on Wednesday met Russia’s secretary of the country’s security council General Nikolai Patrushev for high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on the situation in Afghanistan. The discussions come hours after the Taliban announced their new interim government in the war-torn nation, revealing an all-male cabinet that includes several individuals sanctioned by the United States and the United Nations, along with an FBI ‘most wanted’ terrorist as a top minister. In light of these developments, Patrushev’s visit to India and the subsequent meetings with NSA Ajit Doval assumes special significance for both New Delhi and Moscow in connection with the response to the Taliban takeover.
After meeting Doval, the Russian security chief is also expected to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and foreign minister Dr S Jaishankar. The officials are to discuss the political, security, and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.
The high-level India-Russia inter-governmental consultations on Afghanistan led by the two national security advisers include representatives of the Union ministry of external affairs, the ministry of defence, and security agencies. The consultations, which are currently underway, are likely to reflect on the developing situation in Afghanistan created by the withdrawal of US forces. Both Russia and India share similar concerns on terrorism, especially to ensure that the Taliban adhere to their promises and assurances.