Russia upset about NATO intention to keep bases in Afghanistan

Russia has many questions for the United States and NATO over their plans to keep military bases in Afghanistan after the declared pullout.

"If the [U.S.] president gave his word, then probably everything will be fulfilled. But they want to keep bases. We have a question then: military bases - why? If the tasks have been accomplished, why should the bases be kept? And if not, why the withdrawal?" Russian presidential envoy for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov told Interfax.

"We are absolutely upset about the presence of foreign troops along our border and our zone of interests," he said.

NATO forces are performing tasks in Afghanistan in line with the UN Security Council sanction, he said. "These tasks have not been accomplished. I don't know if they will be accomplished in the next two years [before 2014 when NATO troops are to be pulled out]. There is plenty of doubt about this. That is why part of the troops may be withdrawn and some may remain," he said.

"The question remains: why are they staying? And how can the 'remainder' accomplish the task that the 'whole' failed to do?" Kabulov said.

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