Press release on Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov’s meeting with US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft

August 29, 2017

On August 29, Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov met with US Ambassador to Russia John Tefft at his request.
The US side offered an explanation in connection with President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new US strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia.
The Russian side outlined a number of issues that needed to be specified with regard to both the parameters and the modality of the US military presence in Afghanistan. It was noted that the new strategy was aimed at solving the Afghan problem by force and that it was consonant with the Obama administration’s “prescriptions”, which, as is common knowledge, had not led to any positive results. The Russian side focused on the lack of transparency in the US military actions, something that evoked justified concern in Russia and other regional partners. It was stressed that Moscow did not share Washington’s selective pressure policy directed at certain states in the region, and is calling for equitable interaction and coordination of approaches to the Afghan settlement with regard for the interests of all states in the region without exception. The strategy’s obvious shortcomings are that it does not pose the objective to fight the Afghan drug threat and lacks a comprehensive approach to counteracting the expansion of ISIS influence in Afghanistan.
During their conversation, the officials discussed potential Russian-US bilateral and multilateral interaction in Afghanistan.