Moscow ready to help Turkmenistan to protect southern borders — FM

The top diplomats of the two countries discussed the situation in Central Asia, including the risks and threats coming from the territory of Afghanistan.

Moscow is ready to assist Turkmenistan in protecting its southern borders but for now Ashgabat independently takes necessary measures to counter threats coming from Afghanistan, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.

"Help is offered when it is needed. Today we were informed about additional measures that Turkmenistan’s leadership is taking to secure its border with modern technological means in the safe mode. If they need help in these efforts, of course, we will be interested. But I will repeat once again. Today our Turkmen friends told us in detail how they protect the border with Afghanistan. We proceed from this," Lavrov said after talks with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov.

Earlier on Thursday Lavrov and Meredov signed a program of cooperation between the Russian and Turkmen foreign ministries for 2016.

"We also discussed practical aspects of our cooperation, including on such issues as the situation in Central Asia, including those risks and threats that come from the territory of Afghanistan - both terrorist threat and drug smuggling. We have concrete plans in the framework of foreign ministries, defense ministries, security councils’ apparatuses which allow (Moscow and Ashgabat) to effectively cooperate and prevent these threats," Lavrov concluded.

First published by TASS.

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