20:00 GMT24 January 2021
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    According to the new program of the Afghan Air Force, the country's military will switch to using US-made choppers instead of Russian-made ones amid the new US' Afghanistan strategy. Putin's envoy to Afghanistan commented on the move.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — As the new Afghan government program for Air Force investment assumes the replacement of Russian helicopters with US-made ones, Moscow considers this move to be "illogical" as it may lead to the decrease of the combat efficiency of the Afghan army, Zamir Kabulov, the Russian presidential envoy to Afghanistan, told Sputnik.

    "We have paid attention to the approval by the Afghan authorities of the development program of the Air Force of Afghanistan, which assumes a complete replacement of Russian aircraft, in particular,  the actively used Mi-35 helicopters, with American ones. We believe that the abandonment of Russian-made helicopters, simple in control and well-adapted to combat missions in the climatic conditions of Afghanistan, is fraught with a decrease in the fighting capacity of the Afghan army and a deterioration of the security situation in the country," Kabulov said.

    Interestingly, Kabul's decision has been made following the release of the new US' Afghanistan strategy unveiled by President Donald Trump in late August. Kabulov, in his turn, commented on the plan, saying that Russia appreciates that the United States finally decided on its strategy in Afghanistan, but there are doubts over its effectiveness.

    "We positively assess that Washington has finally decided on the direction of its future Afghanistan policy. I reiterate, we have doubts over the correctness of the US-chosen direction and effectiveness of the new strategy from the point of view of stabilization of the security situation in Afghanistan."

    He went on to say that Moscow is ready for dialogue with the United States on Afghanistan, while such contacts may take place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    After Trump had announced a new strategy for Afghanistan that aims to give more freedom to US military commanders to use force and pledges to keep and increase US troop levels until extremist threats are eliminated, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that Washington gave explanations to Russia in connection with the new US strategy in Afghanistan. Moreover, Moscow said it is concerned over the lack of transparency in the actions of US troops in Afghanistan.


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