Geopolitics: Russia Weighs Up Role in Afghanistan With Trepidation

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The US exit from Afghanistan has opened the way for Russia to play a much more active role in the country, and to expand its influence in the surrounding region (EC Aug.20'21). Having worked against the Taliban after it first came to power in the mid-1990s, Moscow is taking a more open view of the Islamist movement this time around, and has held talks with its leadership in recent months. But there is fear among Russian policymakers that Afghanistan could, once again, become a haven for terrorist groups, with the potential to target Russia itself -- which blasts on Thursday at Kabul airport reinforce. Coordination on this shared security concern could become a rare avenue for Russian cooperation with the West.

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