Afghan forces so far unable to provide national security - Russian ambassador

Russian Ambassador in Kabul Andrei Avetisian has doubts about the readiness of the Afghan army and police to provide security throughout the national territory on their own.

Russian Ambassador in Kabul Andrei Avetisian has doubts about the readiness of the Afghan army and police to provide security throughout the national territory on their own.

"Time will show the degree of preparedness of the Afghan army and police. I think there is still a long way to the ability of the Afghan army and police to ensure national security unaided, especially as the armed opposition has bolstered its operations lately," he told Interfax on Tuesday.

The diplomat commented on the transfer of security responsibilities from the international contingent to Afghan law enforcement authorities declared by Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday.

Avetisian illustrated his opinion with the explosion at the Kabul ceremony, which targeted a parliament deputy - a prominent member of the local Hazara Shiite community.

"This is an illustration of the general situation, which is far from being calm across the country, including the capital city," the diplomat said. "Hence, I believe that foreign forces will have to render active and real support to the security efforts of the Afghans until the end of this year. Hopefully, they will use this period for upgrading the combat ability of the Afghan army and police."

Russia contributes to the goal by training Afghan law enforcement officers, Avetisian said.

He agreed with the opinion that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was rushing the transfer of responsibility to Afghan law enforcement authorities to catch up with the coalition pullout plans of late 2014.

"I may say this is really so. Western specialists believe the Afghan army is not quite prepared to assume this responsibility," the ambassador said.

The diplomat also recalled that NATO and its allies were supposed to report to the UN Security Council the fulfillment of their Afghan operation mandate before leaving Afghanistan.

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