A top Russian security official has warned that the US administration will one day abandon its commitment to Ukraine just as Washington left its Afghan allies and hastily withdrew forces from the war-torn country in the midst of unabated offensives by the Taliban militant group.
Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council, questioned on Thursday Washington’s commitment to Ukraine after the US' hasty exit from Afghanistan and the ensuing seizure of the country by the Taliban, forecasting that the US would one day abandon its Ukrainian allies in a similarly abrupt fashion.
“Kyiv (Kiev) is obsequiously serving the interests of its overseas patrons, striving to get into NATO,” Patrushev told Russia’s Izvestia daily newspaper, referring to a Ukrainian ambition to join the US-led military alliance, which is strongly opposed by Moscow.
“But was the ousted pro-American regime in Kabul saved by the fact that Afghanistan had the status of a principal US ally outside NATO? (No). A similar situation awaits supporters of the American choice in Ukraine,” Patrushev added.
The Russian security official said the Afghan crisis was the result of what he called incompetent work by the intelligence services of the United States, Britain and other NATO countries, and of a typical misplaced conviction by the West in the rightness of its decisions.
Patrushev stressed that the United States had abandoned its Afghan allies “to the whim of fate.”
The Afghan Taliban militant group recently intensified offensives and rapidly overran major cities. The militants laid siege to the capital, Kabul, on Sunday, forcing the sitting Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, to flee the country. The developments took place as US-led forces almost entirely withdrew from the country.
During a visit to Washington last Tuesday, Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister Alexey Reznikov called on the US to send troops and anti-missile systems to the country, arguing that under Ukraine’s legislation, foreign troops were allowed to be stationed in the country.
Russia, which has long warned the US and its NATO allies against sending military forces close to its borders, described Reznikov’s request as a “crude provocation.”
Relations between Moscow and Kiev have been strained since conflict erupted in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region between Ukrainian government forces and ethnic Russians in 2014. The US, the European Union, and Ukraine claim that Russia has a hand in the conflict. Moscow strongly rejects the allegation.
That same year, the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea voted to fall under Russian sovereignty in a referendum, further complicating relations.
Moscow and Washington have deep-seated differences over a host of other issues as well, including arms control, human rights, and cybersecurity.