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Russia and allies seek damage limitation with Taliban

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Significance

Since May the Taliban have taken control of almost all areas adjoining Central Asian borders. A remaining stretch between Turkmenistan and north-western Afghanistan is likely to follow soon. Disrupted trade and a possible refugee influx are not the only worries for regional governments; the presence of Central Asian jihadists in areas captured by the Taliban is cause for concern.

Impacts

  • Uzbekistan and Tajikistan may review their refusal to host a US military base, but have many reasons to avoid going ahead.
  • The Uzbek presidency says there are no plans to join Russia's Collective Security Treaty Organisation.
  • Even the most reluctant Central Asian policymakers will have to engage with the Taliban to press them to keep other jihadists in check.

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