Interfax: NATO’s decision to suspend cooperation will harm Afghanistan – Russian envoy

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

(Interfax – April 2, 2014) NATO’s decision to suspend cooperation with Russia will harm Afghanistan, Moscow’s envoy to NATO has said.

Interfax news agency quoted Aleksandr Grushko saying: “Above all, NATO’s decision will harm Afghans.” He said that the decision was counterproductive.

“As a member of the international community, we carry particular responsibility for the preservation of international peace and stability, and we are ready to continue to interact with all our partners over the entire spectre of global problems.

“We are particularly concerned over the situation in Afghanistan, and this is understandable because the situation in that country is deteriorating while the tasks set before NATO and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have not been solved,” said Grushko.

He said that Russia would continue to provide counter-narcotics assistance to Afghanistan bilaterally.

“No-one will be able to hide away from this threat on an island of security; it can only be dealt with through joint effort. The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate and the production of narcotics in the country increased by 40 per cent last year, compared with 2012, largely because of NATO’s inaction. We see the fight against the threat of narcotics as a common task for the international community, one that derives from, among other things, UN Security Council resolutions,” said Grushko.

Grushko suggested that the suspension of cooperation would affect the Afghan military helicopter maintenance trust fund: “If the trust fund stops to exist, naturally we will not be transferring money into it, but will instead use it more effectively.”

He said that a group of Afghan helicopter technicians were being trained in Novosibirsk. “We are certain that this project is required,” he said.