Contract for supply of Russian Mi-35 helicopters to Afghanistan may be signed in October

Russia is helping reinforce the capability of the government forces of Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, director of the Second Department of Asian Countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian presidential representative on Afghanistan, said.

Russia is helping reinforce the capability of the government forces of Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, director of the Second Department of Asian Countries at the Russian Foreign Ministry and Russian presidential representative on Afghanistan, said.

"Afghanistan will receive additional assistance with that in accordance with Russian presidential orders in the nearest future. We are hoping to sign a contract with Afghanistan for the supply on a commercial basis of several Mil Mi-35 attack helicopters in October," Kabulov said in an interview published in the Oct. 9 edition of Izvestia.

He said Russia is providing certain assistance in the strengthening of the combat capability of the Afghan government forces.

Zamir Kabulov
Zamir Kabulov.Source: RIA Novosti

"I mean first of all the training of Afghan officers in our educational institutions. This process has never stopped. A considerable part of firearms and ammunition has been supplied via the Russian Interior Ministry channels," Kabulov said.

Kabulov believes Afghanistan "should not rely on foreign troops."

"Afghanistan has an army and very many Afghani people are capable of using weapons and they can do it very well. They need to strengthen their national potential, not defend the Afghani government using foreign troops," he said.

Responding to a question as to what will happen if Kabul asks Moscow to bomb ISIL positions in Afghanistan, Kabulov said: "Let's not guess. The Afghani government has not made such a request. I believe there is currently no need for that."

"Firstly, there is a need to continue strengthening the combat capacity of the Afghani army," Kabulov said.

He said he primarily means the Americans and NATO. "Supply aircraft to them so they can defend themselves," he said.

"Until this is done, there are enough attack aircraft in Afghanistan on several U.S. bases that could successfully deliver such strikes […] They have so much reconnaissance there, they can have precise information on where ISIL is concentrated and strike them in the same way as Russia is doing in Syria," Kabulov said.

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